Welcome to a world of murder, jazz, deceit and foolery.

'Grease' at the Duluth Playhouse, performed by the 2014 Teen Intensive troupe.

‘Grease’ at the Duluth Playhouse, performed by the 2014 Teen Intensive troupe.

This summer the Duluth Playhouse Teen Intensive will be presenting the musical Chicago and William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Let’s start with what the Duluth Playhouse Teen Intensive is all about. Each summer young actors and actresses get together to star and produce two shows in a repertory style.

These teens not only act in the shows, but work together to build the sets, create light and sound designs, costume their fellow performers, and make sure everything runs smoothly on show night in both the front and back of house. This summer the two shows the students will be producing are Chicago, directed by co-owner of the Spooner School of Dance and Minnesota Ballet instructor Paige Kohler, and William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Duluth Playhouse Children’s Theatre Education and Artistic Director Kate Horvath.

2015 Albuquerque Production

2015 Albuquerque Production

Now to the shows! Chicago was written by Bob Fosse, Frank Ebb, and John Kander. It is a musical set in the 1920’s in the midst of the prohibition and the great economic boom of that era. Our story follows Mrs. Roxie Hart as she finds herself in an affair with the young Fred Casely. Roxie ends up murdering Fred Casely as he tried to walk out n her. She tries to get her husband to cover up for her but doesn’t succeed. She is sent to the Cook County Jail where she meets up with Velma Kelley, an infamous jazz singer, and a band of murderesses who all have murdered out of love. They explain their woes in the famous number “The Cell Block Tango”. Roxie is desperate to get out. The matron of the jail, Mrs. Momma Morton, gives Roxie a recommendation. She recommends that she talk to the famous defense lawyer Mr. Billy Flynn as he has “Never lost a case with a female client yet”. Only one problem, he costs $5,000 dollars. However, Roxie’s husband Amos’ love for Roxie moves Billy into helping them. Billy makes Roxie a celebrity, she is on every newspaper in town and much to the discontent of Mrs. Velma Kelley. A rivalry grows between them. That is just the first act! Much more ensues but looks like you’ll have to buy a ticket for that!

2009 Shakespeare in the Park Production

2009 Shakespeare in the Park Production

Twelfth Night was written by William Shakespeare and first produced in 1602.The show opens with a terrible storm during the Christmas season, separating twins Viola and Sebastian. Each twin is left thinking the other is dead, and they set off to find their way in the foreign land of Illyria. To stay safe, Viola disguises herself as a man and joins the court of an Illyrian nobleman named Duke Orsino. Orsino is madly in love with Countess Olivia, who has sworn off men as she mourns for her dead brother and father. Orsino sends Viola, now known as Cesario, to go woo Olivia for her, as Olivia has rebuked his past attempts. Viola visits Olivia, and to Viola’s dismay, Olivia begins to fall in love with her. Things are complicated further by the fact that Viola has developed feelings for Orsino, the man she serves. While this is happening, Olivia’s drunkard kinsman Sir Toby devises a plan with a servant named Maria and a dimwitted knight named Sir Andrew Aguecheek to trick Olivia’s head servant Malvolio who has been spoiling their fun. They forge a letter to make Malvolio think Olivia loves him and set him with a series of tasks and requests that will embarrass and debase him. As Viola’s twin Sebastian enters the mix, the show becomes a series of misunderstandings and confusion as hilarity ensues. To see just how everything sorts itself out, you’ll have to buy a ticket and find out for yourself!

Hopefully that gave you a nice taste of the Teen Intensive and what these young actors are dedicating their summer to produce. To get the full thing, come down to the Duluth Playhouse to see Chicago and Twelfth Night, performing August 11-21. See you there!

GET TICKETS!

What: Chicago and Twelfth Night
When: August 11-21, 2016
Time: Thursday-Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Tickets: Adults – $17, Youth/Students – $14
Purchase: Online (click Chicago or Twelfth Night) or call 218.733.7555

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