Groves High School will be performing “Chicago: High School Edition” at the Groves High School auditorium.

Groves High School will be performing “Chicago: High School Edition” at the Groves High School auditorium.

Photo provided by Groves High School

Groves High schools stars perform ‘Chicago: High School Edition’

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 9, 2022


BIRMINGHAM — Groves High School will be putting on a production of “Chicago: High School Edition,” by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The first weekend of shows took place Nov. 4-6, and performances Nov. 11-13 will follow.

“Chicago: High School Edition” is based on the 1975 musical “Chicago,” which follows the story of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two glamorous women living in Chicago in the 1920s who are sent to jail.

Groves High School will be performing a version of “Chicago” that has been adapted to be appropriate for high school audiences and performers.

Gigi Maki is a Groves High School senior who will be playing Velma Kelly. Maki has participated in her high school productions for all four years.

Historically, “Chicago” is a dance-heavy show that really focuses on jazz.

Maki has been dancing since she was 3 years old, so she said she was excited when this year’s show was announced. She is currently focusing on ballet, but she also has a lot of jazz training, which makes her a great fit for Velma.

“I think the most fun part has been just being able to work on this role and have a lot of fun with the character, because it’s not often that you get to play, like, a manipulative, murderess who is like the likable character, but also a terrible person.”

John Rutherford, who is the director of the production, added a creative spin to some of the classic elements, such as the costumes and the lead’s hair colors.

“The way that Mr. Rutherford is directing it is unlike any other version of the show,” Maki said. “If you’ve seen the movie or if you’ve seen the Broadway version, you haven’t seen the Mr. Rutherford version, because it’s just completely different.”

One thing that is different about this production is it is set in the McVicker’s Theatre, which is referenced at the end of the play.

“It is kind of like a cabaret, where all of the numbers are moreso of a performance than the traditional storytelling,” Stephen Carpenter, the technical director for Groves Performing Arts Company, said.

Carpenter said they have a fairly young theater program right now, with many underclassmen.

“It has been fun watching them develop their characters and develop their skills as we are working through the process,” Carpenter said.

Tickets are available to purchase online for the show. “Chicago: High School Edition” will be performed in the Groves High School auditorium.

The Friday and Saturday shows will take place at 7:30 p.m., with the Sunday matinee starting at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students. Visit