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Broadway national touring production of 'CHICAGO' to open new Performing Arts Center theater

Chicago will perform at the Performing Arts Center April 6-7.
"Chicago" will perform at the Performing Arts Center April 6-7.

Culminating nearly 50 years of the Brookings community and South Dakota State University leadership working to build a professional theater on campus, SDSU will host a grand opening weekend April 5-7, spotlighted by a national touring production of the longest-running Broadway musical, “CHICAGO.”

Recognizing the investment by the city and residents of Brookings in the facility, an April 6, 7:30 p.m. performance will go on sale via priced at $45-$60 per reserved seat.

Tickets for an April 5 gala celebration and performance of “CHICAGO” have been offered for early purchase to donors to the facility with $125 main floor and $75 balcony tickets.

All ticket sales will support a scholarship fund for students in the School of Performing Arts.

“Bringing a national show like “CHICAGO” to Brookings and SDSU is beyond the belief of what many of us ever conceived possible,” Lynn Sargeant, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said. “Not only will this be a memorable show for our students, alumni and friends who attend, but we have been able to add masterclasses for our current and prospective students in theater, dance and music with the professionals of the company. This facility, the experiences we can now offer, and the scholarships created by ticket sales will forever change our students and those who wish to be SDSU students in the performing arts.”

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Ebb, “CHICAGO” is now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history—and it still shows no sign of ever slowing down. Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, “CHICAGO” is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, “CHICAGO” is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

“We have been working for more than a decade to create a facility that provides exceptional teaching and learning facilities for our students and faculty. The reality that we’ve been able to build a facility that indeed does all that and can support a show of this caliber is truly a testament to the donors, the architects and our university leadership,” David Reynolds, director of the School of Performing Arts, said. “President Barry Dunn, President David Chicoine and President Emerita Peggy Gordon Miller never stopped believing in the importance of providing learning and teaching environments that match the quality of our students and faculty. Hosting and presenting this show and the opening weekend is truly a celebration of all that South Dakota State University has to offer.”

The greater community will be welcomed to tour the Performing Arts Center at an open house April 7 from 1-3 p.m.

Information on the show, ticket sales and open house is available at