Vail Valley Theatre Company’s production of ‘Chicago’ set for Oct. 18, 18, 24 and 25

Reason Putman and Gretchen Swanson get cool for "Chicago," taking place Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at Battle Mountain High School's auditorium in Edwards.
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If you go ...

What: Vail Valley Theatre Company’s production of “Chicago: the Musical”

When: Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25; doors open at 7 p.m., curtain at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Battle Mountain High School in Edwards.

Cost: Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students at Tickets will increase to $25 day of show.

More information:, 970-306-1086 or email:

EDWARDS — Ladies and gentlemen: You are about to see a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery — all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts.

And so “Chicago: The Musical” begins.

You’re also about to see the finest, most audacious production ever staged by the Vail Valley Theatre Company. Yes, the folks who brought you “The Rocky Horror Show” for the past several Halloweens have one-upped themselves with an evening of sensational razzle-dazzle soaked in jazz and liquor!

This year, the VVTC has opted to go upscale, showcasing more extremely talented women (and men!), a rip roaring musical score and dancing that will knock your socks off.

Not to mention skin! Fans of “Rocky” will be glad to know we still like to strut our stuff in as few threads as possible.

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This twisted, satirical tale is based on actual criminals of the roaring ‘20s in Chicago. Reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins was so taken by several high profile cases of women killing their husbands and lovers that she wrote a play using thinly disguised versions of real people. The show won critical acclaim on Broadway, was made into a movie or two and then Bob Fosse (with wife, Gwen Verdon’s pushing) and others made a musical adaptation.


You may have seen this tour de force on Broadway during its run in the mid ’70s or more likely its hugely popular revival in the ’90s, but I’m sure you’ve seen the killer movie with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere. Fans of that movie will be thrilled to find that there are several more knockout numbers in the live play.

The show distinguishes itself by following each showstopper with another showstopper (“All That Jazz,” “The Cell Block Tango” and “Roxie” to name a few). And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where you must appreciate the hard work of this ensemble.

This is a cast and crew made up of locals. Amazing people, all with full-time jobs and no time for rehearsing or building this kind of show. Yet they carve out an hour here and there each day to work on lines, practice moves, sing, design the set, plot the lights, figure out the sound, blah blah blah. The amount of work that goes into this is incomprehensible, and it takes a huge team.

They are teachers, business owners, public officials and service industry types. They range in age from being too young to vote to receiving AARP pamphlets in the mail. Many of them just met a month ago. But their common, theatrical thread unites them with a desire to put on a spectacular show for the valley.

At press time, we have two sponsor bars to get you in the mood beforehand and to party with the cast afterwards. Main St. Grill hosts Oct. 18, and e|Town on Oct. 25.

So rouge your knees and roll your stockings down, and come see the astonishing collaboration of Beth Swearingen, director; and Jonathan Gorst, musical director; Dean Davis, technical director; Kaylee Brennand, stage manager; David Mayer, set designer; and the huge cast and full live band of “Chicago: The Musical.”

Bart Garton is a longtime local and a member of the Vail Valley Theatre Company. Email comments about this column to

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