Behind the Scenes of Chicago the Musical: Teen Edition

Behind the Scenes of Chicago the Musical: Teen Edition

Chicago: The Musical, written by Bob Fosse, takes place in 1920 and follows Roxie Hart. Roxie, a woman who was accused of murdering her paramour, Fred Casely, is awaiting her trial where she continuously does whatever she can to stay in the spotlight. This story shows Chicago in a period of greed, lies, selfishness, corruption, adultery, and murder. 

The audience only sees the finished product; we don’t get to see the countless hours spent learning dances and songs, sets being built, and pit rehearsals. After speaking with some of the cast, crew, pit, and staff that helped out, you can see how many people it takes to put on a show of this caliber. Finally, The Tiger will talk about some of the outstanding performances from the show that will forever hold a place in EPHS history.


Beanie Martinico

Beanie Martinico as Roxie Hart during her performance of “Funny Honey” in Chicago: The Musical (Maiah Sol).

Sophomore Beanie Martinico is making her staple in the Elmwood Park Theater Program landing her second lead role as Roxie Hart. The audition process for Martinico included reading the monologue for Roxie, as well as performing the song “Roxie” as part of her audition material. When talking about the audition process, Martinico talked about the time frame for the audition commenting, “We had around 2 weeks to get ready before a two day audition process”, which gave her time to try and perfect her audition material in order to nail her audition.

Once Martinico earned the role as Roxie, the rehearsals started, lasting for 2-3 hours on weekdays and 5-6 hours on Saturdays. The rehearsals were separated between vocals, dancing, and scene work, which was challenging to put all together after everything being practiced separately. Her favorite song from the show to perform was “Funny Honey” because of the different emotions that challenged her versatility in both singing and acting.

Bella Wernsing

Beanie (left) and Bella (right) doing their finale number at the end of the show (Maiah Sol).

Sophomore Bella Wernsing just finished her seventh EPHS Theater production, with her third lead role playing Velma Kelly in Chicago: The Musical. During the audition process, Wernsing read and preformed a monologue from Velma’s dialogue and learned the choreography for one of her dances in order to prepare for her audition. The rehearsals “…usually [started] around 3:30 and we sometimes wouldn’t get out until 7 pm” and some characters would have multiple rehearsals on the same day.

The most challenging part of the show for Wernsing was performing her songs with both the singing and dancing because of the difficulty and how tiring it could be. Her favorite song to perform was either “All that Jazz” or “I Can’t Do It Alone” because they both showcase a different side of Velma that she gets to show the audience.

Diego Reyes

Diego Reyes in his first scene of the musical performing the song “All I Care About” (Mrs. Reyes).

Diego Reyes is ending his theater career by earning his third lead role in three productions, playing Billy Flynn in Chicago: The Musical this past semester. Without knowing the plot nor the characters of musical, Reyes chose the monologue for Billy Flynn, and earned himself a callback, where he later earned the role. When talking about how he prepared for the role, Reyes credits “watching the movie helped a lot with bringing Billy to life” which built up his confidence to make this role his own.

Even though Reyes faced technical difficulties during tech week with his microphone, challenges with memorizing lines and choreography, and bringing all of the aspects of the show together. He also enjoyed the cast and crew helping him out. His favorite song to perform in the show was “My Own Best Friend” because his character had to run through the aisles and interact with the audience. When talking about the performances, Reyes remembers “the roar of the audience combined with the cheers backstage really helped the overall mood to want to do our very best”, which is when he knew this musical was a success.


Stage Managers

Jaime Boch

Jamie Boch (right) hugging Beanie (left) during tech week rehearsals (Maiah Sol).

This is Jamie’s second production as Lead Stage Manager, and is one of the most important members of the crew, with being in charge of all the sections of crew. When the show was announced, Boch was ready to start production with having an informational meeting to split everyone into their respective roles: run crew, lights, and sound. During tech week, Boch recalls the process saying “I usually have to sit through and watch the show making sure everything is the way it’s supposed to be and everything is running smoothly for opening night.”

When asked about the most challenging parts of being stage manager, Boch says it “not knowing an answer to someone’s question”, but clarifies “it seems unimportant but as the stage manager I believe that I should know more details and information about the show and it’s structure more than most people” because she wants to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what’s expected. Jamie’s favorite part of being a stage manager is that she can share special moments with her younger family members, and introduce them to cast members after the show. In the past, Boch has “brought my younger family members backstage to meet characters like the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland and Roxie from our late musical Chicago!”


Joaquin Aguilar

Francisco (left) posing with his brother Joaquin (right) after the closing night performance (Mrs. Aguilar).

Joaquin Aguilar just finished his second show as Assistant Stage Manager, and a huge part in making the show a success. As an Assistant Stage Manager, Aguilar assists the other members of the build crew to create the sets that are used during the show as soon as winter break ends up until a week before the show. During a performance, Joaquin focuses on making sure that the cast is following their cues for entrances and sets are being moved on stage.

One of the most challenging parts for Aguilar is “putting everything needed for the show together during tech week because a lot of components go into the show. Making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and getting on stage for their cue is hard but worth it during the end when we see the final product”. When talking about his favorite part of being the assistant stage manager, Aguilar looks back at all the memories he made with his friends in both the rehearsals, tech week, and during the shows.



Francisco Aguilar

Bella Wernsing (left) posing with Francisco Aguilar (right) backstage during tech week (Maiah Sol).

Senior Francisco Aguilar has been apart of the pit for three years, playing the tuba. During the process of getting ready for the show, Aguilar recalls the process “mainly consisted of outside practice and making sure we understand our notes and rhythms” and they used the rehearsal time mainly to fit all of the parts together as a group. During a show, Aguilar focuses on his volume of his instrument, making sure that he doesn’t play louder than the cast. One thing that helps him during a show is listening for cues because they give him an idea of when to start playing, and what song to play.

When looking back at the challenges of the show, Francisco recalls “…putting everything together during tech week. Most of the time pit and cast have separate rehearsals but during tech week is when we actually put the pit and cast together” which is the most important part of the musical. His favorite song to play during the show was Funny Honey or When You’re Good to Mama.


Kassandra Maldonado

Freshman Kassandra Maldonado was apart of run crew during her first EPHS Theater production. As a member of the run crew, Maldonado had many roles: before the show, during the show, and after the show. Before the show, Maldonado made “sure backstage is clean and make sure props are where they’re supposed to be”. During the show, she “move[d] set pieces and help cast with quick changes”, and after the show “…we clean up and make sure everything is set for the next show” and “take down the set/strike it”.

Her favorite part of run crew was building sets, especially using all the tools like the drills. When asked why she joined run crew, she explained “I did theater at my old school and I haven’t tried crew here at EP[HS], so I joined to try it out and I really enjoyed it” and says that she sees herself continuing to be a member of crew throughout her high school years.

Sophia Rodriguez

Sophia Rodriguez, a junior, just finished her second year as a member of the EPHS Theater crew, and her first year as a member of the sound team. Her major role as a member of sound is being in charge of all the mics and that the cast is heard clearly throughout their performances. During the show, Rodriguez is in charge of “the soundboard where we mute and unmute those on stage or backstage, doing mic switches from different cast members, and making sure everything is working properly”. Sophia’s favorite part of being in the crew is meeting new people that she’s friends with both during theater and outside.

When asked why she joined crew, she looks back at when she was in elementary school and getting to visit the high school to see the theater productions. Since she didn’t like being on stage, she chose to try crew and fell in love with helping out during the shows.

Work Cited:

(B. Martinico, personal communication, April 2, 2024)

(B. Wernsing, personal communication, April 8, 2024)

(D. Reyes, personal communication, April 11, 2024)

(F. Aguilar, personal communication, April 10, 2024)

(J. Boch, personal communication, April 3, 2024)

(J. Aguilar, personal communication, April 3, 2024)

(K. Maldonado, personal communication, April 11, 2024)

(S. Rodriguez, personal communication, April 11, 2024)

Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Elmwood Park High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger