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esses and jailhouse matron Mama Morton, played
by Elly Poletti.
Key set piece, the ‘Cell block tango’ was a high-
light and then Elly Poletti took the show to a new
level with a powerful, well-crafted rendition of
‘When you’re good to mama’.
It was sizzling hot.
And the professionalism of acting all-rounder
Will Hanley, in the lead male role of Billy Flynn,
the celebrity lawyer, raised the bar again during
several Act One numbers, most notably the ven-
triloquist act with Roxie in ‘We both reached for
As is tradition with Chicago, the orchestra was
set on stage, club style, as the main backdrop to
the action, providing the continuity, bright accom-
paniment and when required, some note-worthy
moments of interaction with the actors.
Superbly designed and delivered lighting, engi-
neered by Mungo Trumble, another stunning set
by Tad Hendry and his team, and a consistent
theme through all design elements, especially in
the rich costumes inspired by Khaseem Warren;
these aspects of the production only added to its
Wayne Moloney as the celebrity reporter Mary
Sunshine provided a personal costume parade
and some fun moments and the Jack Botterill as
one of the murder victims, Fred Casely in Act One
and Two is also worthy of note.
But seriously in danger of stealing the show was
Jay Nelson with an endearing, well-crafted charac-
terisation of the jilted husband Amos Hart.
He was the perfect foil for the flashy Flynn and
the raunchy Roxie, treated poorly by everyone to
the point where he became invisible to everyone
but a thoroughly engaged audience.
He brought it home with a superbly understated
rendition of ‘Mr Cellophane Man’ in Act Two and
drew the audience even closer when he was denied
his ‘exit music’ just like his co-stars. The audience
was in on the joke.
Only two months earlier he had walked exhaust-
ed from the same stage after a triumphant season
as The Engineer in Miss Saigon; surely the abso-
lute antithesis of this latest role.
The overall impression of this show is ‘wow’,
how do they do it?
President of the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group, Pe-
ter Hanley, provided some insight when thanking
sponsors on opening night, saying their support
was crucial in getting a $100,000 production to
However with both opening weekend shows sell-
ing out and heavy bookings for the rest of the sea-
son already, Chicago is headed for financial suc-
cess as well as critical acclaim.
Many said it was the best opening night in
WTG’s 48-year history and it’s likely to get better
from here. Don’t miss it. You can book your tickets
Wonthaggi’s stylish Chicago packs’em
The celebrity lawyer Billy Flynn (Will Hanley) leads a talented female dancing troupe in
one of their numbers on opening night for Chicago. m763417
Nina Barry-Macaulay provided many of the
show’s highlights with an engaging performance as
the murderous temptress Roxie Hart. m723417
Will Hanley as Billy Flynn, steps out in style with a classy female dance ensemble, includ-
ing from left, Rose Wray-McCann, Kerryn Moren, Angela Hogan, Annabelle Clarkson, Jade
Dalton and Meghan Dal Masetto. m703417
The stars of the Wonthaggi’s stylish new
production of Chicago were Bron Kalos and
Nina Barry-Macaulay as cell block jailbirds
Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart. m783417
A deadpan Jay Nelson as Amos Hart,
right, was the perfect foil for the flashy
Billy Flynn in WTG’s Chicago which
opened last weekend. m743417
It’s none other than Wont-
haggi Theatrical Group vice
president Wayne Moloney in
a convincing portrayal of so-
ciety reporter Mary Sunshine.
Bron Kalos as Velma Kelly
and the Chicago dancers pro-
vided a delightfully steamy
rendition of All that jazz.
Elly Poletti hits the high
notes as Matron Mama Mor-
ton in Wonthaggi’s produc-
tion of Chicago last weekend.
Bron Kalos takes centre stage as Velma Kelly in Wonthaggi’s production of Chicago. m733417
THE iconic Broadway blockbuster, Chicago,
opened in a blaze of style, colour and movement in
the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre last
Saturday night leaving audiences gasping at a new
high in production values from the award-winning
Wonthaggi Theatrical Group.
Director Karen Milkins-Hendry has worked her
magic again to bring this much loved and revered
Bob Fosse extravaganza to the stage with all ele-
ments of the production an absolute triumph... in
just eight weeks from go to whoa.
And to think that all the design, dance, music
and acting talent is local... it’s quite incredible.
Jumping straight in, the crowd cheered as Bron
Kalos, in the role of celebrity murderess, Velma
Kelly, rose into her position on stage for perhaps
the show’s best known number ‘All that jazz’, and
away they went with slick, expressive and flawless
dancing from the female troupe of Angela Hogan,
Annabelle Clarkson, Meghan Dal Masetto, Jade
Dalton, Kerryn Moren and Rose Wray-McCann.
Their input remained an enduring highlight
of the show; eagerly awaited, engaging and very
much in the style of Bob Fosse thanks to the tire-
less efforts of choreographer Rose Wray-McCann
and her team of dancers.
Next Nina Barry-Macaulay set the story alight as
Roxie Hart, despatching her lover, admonishing
her loyal husband in ‘Funny honey’ and soon find-
ing herself in jail with Velma, the other murder-
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