VHS Student Performs With Broadway Cast of ‘Chicago’


Share post:

- Advertisement -spot_img

Broadway musical ChicagoMaya Fortgang, a sophomore at Verona High School, was among the 90 students selected to perform in a very special–and surprise–production of the Broadway musical Chicago at The Ambassador Theatre on Tuesday, March 21. A member of Pixie Dust Players, a youth theatre company, Fortgang was invited to join the students of NYC’s iTheatrics’ High School All Stars to help celebrate the 90th birthday of the beloved musical composer John Kander and to announce the creation of Chicago (High School Edition).

Fortgang made her Broadway debut in the company of the great legends Chita Rivera, Joel Grey, James Naughton, Bebe Neuwirth and many more, who all made surprise appearances. Just before the final number, Bebe Neuwirth, a Tony winner for her performance as the original Velma Kelly in the revival, introduced the 90 students who performed “All That Jazz” with the Broadway cast.

With only two rehearsals, these talented teens were able to learn the original Fosse choreography and worked with the Broadway dance captain and music director. The students flooded the aisles and the stage to dance with the cast members.

- Advertisement -

In order to keep the announcement of the release of Chicago (High School Edition) and its special birthday guests a surprise, parents and the teens were not allowed to talk about the event–much to the disappointment of family and friends. The secrecy added to the excitement surrounding this momentous occasion. Laura Fortgang, Maya’s mom said, “It was a night never to be forgotten, and a wonderful way to support the importance of the arts for our children!”

Broadway musical Chicago
Maya Fortgang (left) with the Pixie Dust Players’ entering the Ambassador Theatre for their Broadway debut in ‘Chicago’.
Most recently, Maya Fortgang performed in Verona High School’s production of Anything Goes and in Stony Hill Players Production of The Wedding Singer. With Pixie Dust Players, Fortgang played Nancy in the pilot production of Oliver Jr. and will be appearing in this summer’s pilot production of Cinderella, both at The Summit Playhouse. Fortgang will also be appearing in The Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory Main-stage show New Voices 2017.

Pixie Dust Players’ founder, Lindsay Maron, was asked by iTheatrics to bring her youth group to New York City for this special night. iTheatrics adapts Broadway musicals into junior versions for performances by elementary-, middle- and high school-aged children. Maron and Pixie Dust have piloted multiple MTI Broadway Junior and KIDs titles for iTheatrics and worked with Stephen Schwartz to create the adaptation Children of Eden, Jr.

“It’s not every day you get to make 23 dreams come true,” Maron said “When I received the email from iTheatrics, I knew this was not an opportunity that comes around often. I’m so glad we were able to make it work and keep the secret. Getting to watch the cast and guest performers rehearse for the big performance was an extra special treat.”

The mission of Pixie Dust Players is to share the magic of theatre with performers and audiences alike. They strive to produce high quality productions performed solely by children and teenagers for audiences of all ages. Pixie Dust had 23 performers at Chicago: Sophia Blanchard, Sydney Brenton, Karenna Breslow, Ben Errig, John Ertman, Katherine Ertman, Maya Fortgang, Dexter Kennedy, Jacob Lesser, Charlotte MacMurray, Cameron Matheson, Mia Montero, Jack Nissen, Will Nissen, Natalie Pereira, Alex Pereira, Grace Petersen, Nina Randazzo, Darby Ryden, Ally Salort, Wasif Sami, Maya Slaughter, and Charlotte Wesson.

Chicago, playing at the Ambassador Theatre, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary on Broadway and is the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. The show is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording. With a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony winner Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Doris Gallucci, 86

Mrs. Doris Gallucci, 86, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2023 at home in Verona. A service will be...

Verona Park Bench Fundraiser To Honor Galife

Deborah A. Galife, a Verona resident for 62 years and a fixture in the Verona business community, passed...

Caldwell University Students Bring Spanish Story Time To Verona Library

This past Monday, students from Caldwell University Professor Rosa Sanchez’s Children’s Literature course read stories and sang songs...

County Tallies Results Of Deer Hunt In Verona

In January and February, Essex County held its first deer management program in the Hilltop Reservation and South...
error: Content is protected !!