Spring musical “Chicago” canceled

Due to COVID-19, performing arts shows have been canceled


Photo courtesy of Eddie Park

The production of Chicago has been cancelled for the 2019-20 school year.

In a detailed email to Oak Park families, Superintendent Tony Knight and Director of Curriculum Jay Greenlinger announced that all Oak Park schools would remain closed until May 1, since changed to May 22, thereby suspending any school activities such as concerts, sports events and the spring musical, “Chicago.”

“It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you that we are postponing our musical production of “Chicago” tonight through this Saturday … We feel that we must take measures to limit large indoor gatherings to help limit any potential spread or contamination of COVID-19,” Principal Kevin Buchanan’s original StudentSquare message explained. 

Agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend that any gatherings with over 50 people be canceled as “large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.”

April 23, 24 and 25 had been selected as the new dates for the production. However, as circumstances revolving around the return to school changed, Knight’s April 1 email informed all families that schools will not reopen, thereby canceling the musical entirely.

“When we got the news that the show had been canceled entirely, we were all extremely upset, but it was something that we had been preparing ourselves for,” cast member Ethan Grinberg said. “We were all very excited to perform, and it was heartbreaking that we got canceled.”

Though cast and crew members were saddened to hear they would not get to perform a show they had spent countless hours perfecting, students like Eddie Park were excited to have had the experience of being a part of the show.

“We spent months perfecting dance numbers, scenes, and songs and to find out that we couldn’t perform it in front of a live audience left a sour feeling … but it is what it is … In the end, the actual performance is only part of the experience. I’m glad we got through hell week with the whole live band and our costumes and lights,” Park said. “It was all amazing.”