Chicago director Sue Belsham pictured in March, 2012, with as Belinda Toth, of Goonellabah, who was auditioning for a role in Ballina Players' production of the musical.
Chicago director Sue Belsham pictured in March, 2012, with as Belinda Toth, of Goonellabah, who was auditioning for a role in Ballina Players' production of the musical. Marc Stapelberg

Crime does pay – if you can act

AUDITIONS for roles in one of the world's most famous musicals have kept Sue Belsham busy over the past few days.

The Ballina Players are preparing for a three-week season of Chicago later in the year and as director, Mrs Belsham has been sorting it all out with performers vying for roles including the leads, murderers Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart and notorious lawyer Billy Flynn.

Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago in the 1920s. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal.

"It's very difficult to get the performing rights so we were thrilled when they accepted our proposal," Mrs Belsham said.

It will be the Ballina Players' third production of the year after Grease in January and Move Over Mrs Markham, which is being staged now.

"There is always a lot of interest in musicals and more people audition for them. Our production of Grease was heavily patronised."

Auditions began on Saturday afternoon, continued all through yesterday and will be completed tonight.

The original Broadway production of Chicago opened in June 1975 and ran for 936 performances.

Its 1996 revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway and is its fourth longest-running show, having played for more than 6200 performances.

An Academy Award-winning film version of the musical in 2002 starred Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah.

The Ballina Players' season of Chicago will run from June 17 to July 7. Bookings at Just Funkin' Music in River St, Ballina.



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