Wollman Hall, The New School 65 West 11th Street (between 5th and 6th Aves) 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Chicago, The Play aka Play Ball Director: Melody Brooks Dramaturg: Mari Lyn Henry Assisant Director: Katie McHugh
Last reading of the year! Go out with a bang!
Roxie Hart's original story was first a play dramatized by Maurine Dallas Watkins. It opened on Broadway at the Music Box on December 30, 1926. It would be almost half a century before Bob Fosse and Kander and Ebb would obtain the rights for the musical version starring Gwen Verdon.
Ms. Watkins was a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and her sensational columns documenting the real trials of two women who later became the models for Roxie and Velma were so popular that she decided to write a play.
Brooks Atkinson reviewed it on December 31, 1926:
"Chicago is not a melodrama but a satirical comedy on the administration of justice through the fetid channels of newspaper publicity– of photographers, sob-sisters, feature stunts, standardized prevarication and general vulgarity. In the composition of her raucous lampoon, Miss Watkins has forgotten none of the "old hokum" or the blatant chicanery typical– it is alleged– of the trials of 'beautiful murderesses.'"