A sold-out crowd waited under the glow of marquee lights inside the Telfair Peet Theatre on Thursday night.
They were all waiting for that drawn out, plunger-muted trumpet note to open Auburn Theatre's production of "Chicago."
The musical, which describes itself as "a wing-ding," is set in prohibition-era Chicago, where the morals are loose and the gin is cold.
Two murderous women, Velma Kelley, played by Meg McGuffin, and Roxie Hart, played by Hannah Kuykendall, have been thrown in jail. Their only hope comes in the form of Billy Flynn, played by Tyler Carter, the best lawyer in the city.
The catch is that both women have to fight for the attention of Billy and for the heart of media. A guilty verdict means hanging, but a not-guilty one promises fame in Vaudeville.
Roxie also has to deal with her poor husband Amos, played by Logan Pace, as he comes to terms with the fact that no one really cares about him.
The show opens with a very bold statement: "Murder is a form of entertainment." It then spends the next two hours proving that point.
McGuffin and Kuykendall fight for the stage throughout the show, both showing the strong presence needed to fully portray these characters.
Kuykendall has previous stage experience, but seeing as this is McGuffin's first theater experience, her debut was more than impressive.
The entire cast showed off its sexy side when swinging to the live music, bringing to life the streets of Chicago and the cells of a prison.
Readers who frequent Auburn Theatre performances will notice that silks have made an appearance in an Auburn production yet again. This time, with one of Roxie's lovers entering from them, as well as having an entire sheet passed over the audience.
One noticeable thing about this production of "Chicago" is how much interaction occurs between actors and the audience. Early in the show, multiple actors rushed to the stage from the back of the theater and front-row viewers were treated to a signed newspaper or a cupcake.
The place this production falls short, though, is due in part to the very nature of "Chicago."
Designed as a show full of proactivity and sensuality, the dancing and music is intended to excite the audience in more than one way. While that is achieved often throughout the performance, there are more than a few instances where this breaks down, and, instead of being attractive, it is just plain awkward.
All in all, the Auburn theater department has put together a beautiful version of the classic musical. The dialogue is witty, the actors are talented and the music is amazing.
For those of you looking for some classy entertainment in the upcoming weeks, "Chicago" provides the perfect amount of drama, excitement and appeal for anyone as multiple showings will continue at the Auburn University Theatre until Feb. 24.