NHS dancers to perform in ‘Chicago’

Leave it to Bob Tansley to bring communities together at Post University in Waterbury.

He is revving up for his production of “Chicago” at Post University’s Eagle’s Nest theater. When dance coach Donna Gomes requested tickets for her Naugatuck High School dance troupe to see the show, Bob not only set aside 20 tickets, he made an additional offer that was just too good to refuse.

He offered four spots in his “Chicago” production to four of the dancers in Gomes’ troupe. The condition was that these high school dancers would have to commit to making all of the remaining rehearsals. Four girls quickly accepted the offer and are now in their first college production.

Think for a minute about what Tansley has done regarding his production. He has unified the college community by including faculty, staff and students; the Naugatuck High School community via his generous offer; and the community at large. He has made this theater production a community event.

“When Donna Gomes called me, she said that her troupe did a two-and-a-half minute routine from ‘Chicago.’ They did ‘All That Jazz,'” explained Tansley. “She wanted her dancers to see the whole show. That’s when I told her that I would put four of them in my show. Within one day, she got back to me. I have four very excited high school dancers in my college show.”

Milyani Roman, Emily Cronin and Brianna Spaulding are making their theater debuts, and Olivia Grella is in her second show.

“I just can’t resist letting kids get involved in theater whenever I can,” said Bob who pointed out that the high school dancers learned the original Fosse choreography quickly.

Ben Orlando is the choreographer for “Chicago.”

“Chicago” at Post plays March 18, 19 and 20 with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. The Eagle’s Nest Theatre is at 800 Country Club Road. For reservations email chicago@post.edu or call 203-228-1930; online reservations are preferred.

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