By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Despite a devastating fire at their theater three days before opening night, One More Production’s showing of “Chicago” packed a killer punch.
The story of wanna-be vaudeville star Roxie Hart who “accidentally” becomes a murderess stepped, leapt, danced and sang the Charleston across the stage on Saturday night with some great musical and dancing talent and an impressive 14-piece orchestra (that even had a banjo).
The local production of the Tony winning musical, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Frank Ebb and the book by Ebb and Bob Fosse moved from The Gem on Main Street to next door at the Festival Amphitheatre at 12852 Main St. as a result of a fire on Memorial Day morning.
The fire, which Damien Lorton, co-owner of One More productions, said originated in the upstairs costume shop, destroyed all the costumes for the show and severally damaged or obliterated the sets and most of the props.
However, for only having three days to resurrect the needed items for the show, it looked great. Gretchen Dawson played an engaging Roxie Hart while OMP co-owner Nicole Cassesso played an enthusiastic and funny Velma Kelly.
The singers were impressive, especially Daniel Berlin who played a remarkable Mary Sunshine. Berlin’s operatic falsetto as Mary Sunshine was rousing and very well sustained.
The “Cell Block Tango,” a stage classic, was very well choreographed and the women of “Chicago” looked sexy but classy in outfits that showed some, but left enough to the imagination.
Tim Klega, as Amos Hart, made Amos, who is supposed to be a character that you literally don’t notice, very noticeable and fun to watch. The new venue is bigger, with a large stage and twice as much seating, which means more front row and aisle seats.
On occasion, the wind changed and blew some of the smokey smell from the burnt Gem Theatre, which somehow added to the ambiance of the seedy under-belly setting of the show.
The outdoor seating can be chilly, so dress warm. Tickets are $35 for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a $20 price for “Student Rush” tickets. Showtime is at 8 p.m., showtime for Sunday is at 7:30 p.m. Because of the limited availability of the Amphitheatre, the show will run at that location until June 12.
After that, it is not known if the show will continue, as a second location has not yet been secured. For tickets, go online to www.onemoreproductions.com