Glittering with sequins and cynicism, Chicago flips moral considerations aside like a fan-dancer’s feathers. Money buys love, notoriety confers celebrity, and the press will print anything you tell them.

Directed by Brooke Hardman Ditchfield with choreography by Ken Romero, music direction by Abigail Chandler and costumes by Chelsea McCarthy, Chicago is packed with dance numbers that pay tribute to its original director and choreographer, Bob Fosse, who also co-wrote the book of the musical.

Annabelle Brothers (center) as Roxie. — Ray Ewing

The show opened Thursday night at the Performing Arts Center, and Friday night’s audience, which packed the nearly 800-seat theatre, exploded in applause for a cast that included seniors Jack Crawford as Billy, Annabelle Brothers as Roxie, Faith Fecitt as Velma, and junior  Huck Moore as Amos.

The final remaining show is Sunday at 2 p.m.

The musical brings together nearly 40 young actors, singers and dancers for a snappy Jazz Age joyride. Another 19 performers appear in the on-stage orchestra, including seven students playing alongside music teachers and members of the Vineyard Haven Band as they recreate the banjo-meets-brass sound world of the vaudeville era.

Jack Crawford as Billy Flynn. — Ray Ewing

Snapping fingers, jutting hips, sinuous arms and quick-freeze tableaus all add to the stylized look of the show, which is based on a 1920s play that itself was based on true-life reporting on a pair of notorious Chicago murder cases.

The play has exactly one main character who’s not on the make, Amos, and he is a pitiful sap who’s no match for murderers Roxy and Velma, their self-dealing defense attorney Billy Flynn and the bribe-mongering jailer Mama Morton.

When Billy sings, he’s backed up by a full chorus line. When Amos sings, he has to chase the spotlight across an empty stage and awkwardly dance by himself.

Samuel Hines as the Master of Ceremonies. — Ray Ewing

Standout songs include The Cell Block Tango (He Had It Coming), a sextet for murderous wives; Roxie’s self-titled solo; Billy’s numbers All I Care About is Love and Razzle Dazzle and the big show opener, All That Jazz, by Velma and the company.

The cast alternates each performance. Friday’s lineup appears again on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Saturday night’s cast, which opened the four-day run on Thursday, featured Madeleine Bengtsson as Roxie, Emma Burt as Velma, Aiden Weiland as Billy and Jack Tully as Amos. 

Performers in both casts include Samuel Hines as both the Master of Ceremonies and the courtroom judge presiding over Roxie’s trial, and Genevieve Hyland as Mary Sunshine, a “sob sister” journalist sympathetic to jailed women.

More pictures.