Burdekin’s Razzle Dazzle

Melissa Land will choreograph the Burdekin Singers' upcoming production of 'Chicago'. IMAGE: Melissa Land in NQOMT's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Donna Larcom

A swathe of the region’s most talented performers will be bringing all that jazz to the Burdekin Theatre stage from next week, with the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company performing Chicago over two weekends.

The musical, originally performed on Broadway in 1975, is well-known for not only its memorable soundtrack – including Cell Block TangoAll That Jazz and Mr Cellophane – but its showstopping dances and choreography.

Choreographer for the Burdekin Singers’ production, Melissa Land, said signing up for Chicago was an easy decision.

Chicago is such an amazing show to choreograph: because it has so much dancing and can involve so many different styles of dance, it really is a dream to work on,” Melissa said.

“It’s a very Fosse-based musical, so the opening number All That Jazz remains true to the original Broadway production’s style of dance – whereas with other numbers I’ve mixed it up, tying in a bit of the movie style and adding in a few of my own bits and pieces as well.

“Because I’ve been involved in two other productions in Townsville while Chicago rehearsals have taken place, I’ve had limited availability – so Jaynai Slatcher & Gianita Pegoraro have helped me out as well. They’ve both been a big help to me, and kept things on track.”

Melissa said, despite being a small community, the Burdekin’s talent pool grew deeper with every show.

“Although the Burdekin is a bit of a smaller community, we still stage some really high-calibre shows – so audiences should expect nothing but the best. I started with the Burdekin Singers in 1994 and did every show up until I moved away in 2010.

“The group is like a family to me; they’re home.

Chicago‘s storyline is based around the fact that you’re not famous until you’re infamous. It portrays murder as something worthy of celebrity status rather than a crime, and follows these women who each murder their husbands and become local celebs.

“I think as a performer, coming in as a choreographer has made me aware of how difficult it is for the production team to stage these shows, and the time and skills required for all of the other processes behind the scenes to make these performances look as great as they do.”

Catch the Burdekin Singers’ production of Chicago at the Burdekin Theatre from 2-10 February, with tickets available here. For information on the Burdekin Singers’ upcoming shows and auditions, visit their Facebook page.

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