The old razzle-dazzle is back as the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School performing arts department presents Chicago, the exuberantly satirical Broadway hit by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse.

The show opens Thursday, Feb. 16 at the PAC and runs though Sunday, Feb. 19.

With its vaudeville-inspired characters and music, 1920s costumes and live on-stage band, the high-energy show features more than three dozen young performers and a 19-piece band.

“I think it’s a very nice contrast to last year,” said Ava McGee, who appeared as Mme Thénardier in the school’s 2022 production of Les Misérables and is sharing the Chicago role of jailer Mama Morton with Tatum Thomas.

Madeleine Bengsston (center) plays Roxie Hart. — Ray Ewing

An undeniable triumph for the performing arts department, the operatic Les Misérables was a stirring show — but short on dancing and long on 19th-century gender roles.

“It was very male power heavy, so having the total reverse — showing these really, really strong, powerful women — is really cool,” Ms. McGee said during a rehearsal break at the performing arts center Tuesday afternoon.

As with Les Misérables, the cast rotates, with students shifting roles on different nights. Emma Burt and Madeleine Bengsston play Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively, for theThursday and Saturday shows. On Friday and Sunday, Annabelle Brothers plays Roxie and Faith Fecitt plays Velma.

Ms. Burt and Ms. Bengsston shared similar thoughts about their roles as Chicago’s murderous protagonists.

“It’s fun to show stories about powerful women who don’t really have great motives,” Ms. Burt said. “You can draw social parallels from it, or you can take it at face value.”

Director Brooke Ditchfield works with the cast at rehearsal. — Ray Ewing

“I have found that to play Velma, I keep sitting up straighter than I normally do. She doesn’t slouch,” she added.

Ms. Bengsston pointed to the strength of her character.

“These women kind of reflect the women in our past, and the women worldwide — not in the sense that they’re killing men, but in the sense that they know their worth and they use it and they want to exert the power that they have,” she said.

For Ms. Brothers and Ms. Fecitt their roles reflect a competition for notoriety that runs throughout the show.

“Part of what makes this play so fun is that all of the characters are so exaggerated in what stereotypes they’re portraying,” Ms. Brothers said.

Samuel Hines is the master of ceremonies. — Ray Ewing

“Last year’s [show] felt very serious, and I feel we can kind of let go of that now and really have fun with the characters,” added Ms. Fecitt.

The show’s male leads also get to have fun — especially the two actors splitting the role of Billy Flynn, lawyer to both Roxie and Velma, whose strategy both in and out of court is to “give ’em the old razzle-dazzle.”

“All he cares about is money and just what’s going to benefit him, and there’s multiple songs in the show that clearly portray him manipulating everyone else,” said Jack Crawford, who appears as Billy on Friday and Sunday.

It will be the second time in two years that Mr. Crawford has worked opposite both Ms. Brothers and Ms. Fecitt, who shared the role of Cosette to his Marius in Les Misérables.

His connection to Chicago goes back much farther, Mr. Crawford said. The high school’s 2016 production, which he saw as a grade-schooler, first sparked his interest in theatre.

Jack Crawford and Annabelle Brothers.

On Thursday and Saturday, Aiden Weiland takes on the role of Billy.

Both actors said they are enjoying the roguish character after playing heroes — Mr. Weiland as both a revolutionary and a bishop, Mr. Crawford as romantic lead — in Les Mis.

“He is just shamelessly self-centered and a villain,” Mr. Weiland said. “It’s super fun.”

Billy Flynn’s opposite is Amos Hart, Roxie’s loving but deceived husband, played on Thursday and Saturday by Jack Tully and on Friday and Sunday by Huck Moore.

Aiden Weilend plays Billy Flynn. — Ray Ewing

In a show that gleefully skewers celebrity, morality, greed and justice alike, Amos’s is the only soul unspattered by corruption.

“He’s manipulated, he’s used, however he’s the only honest person. It shows another side of the story, that not all people are bad,” Mr. Moore said.

But Amos’s open-hearted honesty becomes his downfall, bearing out the essentially cynical message of the show.

“The only innocent person gets the short end of the deal,” Mr. Moore said.

Chicago is directed by Brooke Ditchfield with musical direction by performing arts department head Abigail Chandler, who will lead an on-stage jazz band of students and community members. Choreography is by Ken Romero and costumes by Chelsea McCarthy.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday.

Tickets are $5 to $10 in advance. but Ms. Ditchfield and high school principal Sara Dingledy have pledged to make seats available for students who can’t afford tickets.

Note: Updated to correct the days on which different cast members will perform.