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Katy Theatre Brings ‘Chicago’ to Stage; Inspired by Famous Alumni


December 6, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy, Texas is full of talent and residents don’t have to go far to find musical performances worthy of Hobby Center. Award-winning Katy High School theater brings the Broadway hit Chicago to stage. Many took inspiration from Katy alumni Renee Zellweger, who played in the big screen version of the musical.

Photo credit: Caitlyn Thayer

Broadway in Katy

Katyites don’t need to look far to find musical talent. Katy High School Theatre will perform Chicgao (directed by Katy Tagliabue with Technical Direction by Charles Woods) December 9, 10, and 11 at 7:00 p.m., and a matinee on the 11 at 2:00 p.m. Shows are at the Katy High School Performing Arts Center.

Tickets can be purchased online.

Inspired by a Katy Celebrity

The students take inspiration from one of Katy’s biggest celebrities Renee Zellweger, who played Roxie Hart on the big screen version of the musical. Zellweger is a two-time Academy Award winning actress who graduated from Katy High School. She often speaks about her Katy roots and even spoke about her time as a Katy High School cheerleader on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

“Renée Zellweger‘s success as a Katy Theatre alumni means everything to myself and Katy Theatre students,” says Sophie Borroso, who plays Matron ‘Mama’ Morton. “It proves to us that no matter where you’re from, and no matter what you do, if you put in hard work, and dedication, you can always succeed. The city of Katy is wildly supportive, and we are so lucky to be a part of this loving town.”

“I watched the movie after we knew we would be performing in Chicago. I knew I wanted to play Roxie, and I took a lot of my original inspiration from Renee‘s performance,” says Emily Adams, who plays Roxie in KHS’s Chicago. Adams says she has added a lot more brass and sass to the character making it an original performance.

“The audience can expect to be dazzled by our phenomenal performers and technicians, who have worked so hard to create a magical show,” says Katy Tagliabue, Head Director.

Head director Katy Tagliabue and technical director Charles Woods chose the setting of a speakeasy for this musical as it highlights the time period of the roaring 20’s. This is a unique setting, but it allows for the cast to pass through different locations within the speakeasy and focus on the performances.

According to Assistant Technical Director Lydia Joy, audiences can look forward to watching the cast serve and interact with drinks at the bar on set.

“This show does have mature content, so our audience will range from teens to adults,” says Caitlyn Thayer, Assistant Director.

About the Musical

Assistant Director Caitlyn Thayer describes the musical:

The Chicago musical tells the story of an adulterous woman named Roxie Hart, who was sent to prison for the murder of her boyfriend Fred Caseley. Roxie’s marriage to Amos Hart is ruined, and she is set to hang for her crimes if she does not find representation fast. While she is incarcerated, Roxie meets Matron ‘Mama’ Morton: the prison warden, and Velma Kelly: a washed up performer known for murdering her sister and fiance. It is through Velma and Mama that Roxie learns of the defense attorney Billy Flinn. In trial, we see the cunning of Billy Flinn, the performance of Roxie Hart, and the jealousy of Velama Kelly.

“It’s a huge honor to pay tribute to Renee Zellweger, and the hard work we put into the show is extremely evident,” says Nate Sarlls, who plays Billy Flynn. “Getting to perform this show is definitely the highlight of my year.”

Learn more about Katy Theatre and purchase tickets at their website.

Katy ISD Fine Arts

Katy ISD schools are known for incredible theater performances, but also orchestra, choir, and band performances. Paetow High School will perform the musical Anastasia next month and Jordan High School will perform their first ever school musical, Spamalot. Check the District Fine Arts calendar online and follow it for updates and ticket information to great performances.


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