BWW Interview: Troy Heard of CHICAGO THE MUSICAL at Super Summer Theatre
"Chicago The Musical," the brilliant interpretation of the show "Chicago" created by Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon remains just as fresh today as when it first debuted in 1975. Based off a play that was written about actual events happening in 1926, the musical roars into the Super Summer Theatre capturing the jabs and satire of the American legal system through Aug. 17.
The dark plot intertwines Roxie Hart, who shoots her lover and then convinces her husband to take the rap. After discovering his wife's infidelity, he turns on her, and she ends up in prison meeting murderess Velma Roxie. Scrambling for the spotlight and headlines, the two join forces in a musical with very sharp edges. BroadwayWorld.com spoke with producer and director Troy Heard about bringing the production to the outdoor stage of Super Summer Theatre.
Why does Chicago remain as fresh and relevant today as when it first debuted 44 years ago?
Troy Heard: It is a satire about the American judicial system. Also, Fosse and Verdon created the musical that makes it timeless.
What about your influence in directing the production?
Troy Heard:: I am not afraid of the dark. The theater usually presents bright Sunday family shows, but the theater likes to offer shows for a more adult audience. I was able to present the darkness and satire of the musical. There is a very cynical edge to the show. I am embracing that dark edge and bringing it to the surface.
What are some of the challenges of directing on an outdoor stage?
Troy Heard:: I have done it before. I have to combine the spectacle and compete with nature. The show is not the attraction; the experience is the attraction. The audience is out there for two hours socializing with a picnic dinner and perhaps a bottle of wine, and then there is a show at 8 p.m. It is not just about the play, but the whole experience and the show better be dynamic.
"Chicago" is the longest-running American musical on Broadway and is for mature audiences. "Chicago The Musical" starring Jay Joseph, Monica Johns, and Katy Heard will perform for Super Summer Theatre at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park through Aug. 17. There is a paved parking area set aside for disabled guests at each performance. The meadow opens at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 8:05 p.m. For more info, visit supersummertheatre.org.