An Inside Look Into Clifton High School's Upcoming Musical, Chicago!


It’s that time of the year again for Clifton High School’s (CHS) annual musical production. The famous American Broadway show, Chicago, will be presented by students of CHS who have worked diligently and ardently over the past few months. Director and drama teacher, Lisa Poggi is especially excited about opening night. Poggi, who occasionally acts herself, will be directing her 8th musical at CHS. She is more than proud of the students who dedicated hours of their time to the production and genuinely loves what she does. She, along with fellow teachers Caitlyn Barrows (Choreography) and Leonid Weismantel (Music/Singing instructor) have also worked tirelessly with students to enhance this showing and make it the absolute best.

One of the most excellent parts of these productions is of course the music. And in this production, no soundtracks will be used. Instead, the music accompanying our favorite Chicago songs will be played by the CHS Pit. The pit is made up of the best musicians in band and strings. Led by the beloved Band Director and band teacher, Brian Stepneski is ready to assist the pit in its effort to elevate the production with musical art talents and contributions. Penelope Austin, a CHS Junior, has played the violin for seven years and loves it. When asked about why she wanted to be a part of the pit, she responded, “It’s honestly such a good experience… I can't compare it to anything else…it’s just amazing.” She encourages those thinking about going into music to definitely at least try it. These musicians have also dedicated countless hours to perfecting notes, understanding tempo, and playing the best they possibly can.

Those behind the scenes who play integral parts in the production include the Audio and Visual Club (AV Club) and stage crew. The AV Club, advised by Jeff Horn (Network Coordinator/Web Services), has a team of over a dozen students who are gaining hands-on experience in fields relating to AV. The lighting, sound systems, and technological aspects of the show are controlled and taught to the students during rehearsals and take the production to the next level. Another behind-the-scenes team that allows the musical to run smoothly is the stage crew. Members of this team have different responsibilities based on their interests. It consists of stage managers, make-up helpers, costume managers, running crews, and especially the prop manager. Another Junior of CHS, Brianna Ranalli works with the stage crew. She hopes to pursue a career in fashion and sees this as an opportunity to expand her experience and add to college resumes. “I’ve always been an artistic person and I just love contributing to a big production,” said Ranalli. This is her fourth high school production.

Members of the public are invited to watch Clifton High School’s Chicago on the dates listed below. Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 10, 2023 @ 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 11, 2023 @ 7:00 PM

Sunday, March 12, 2023 @ 1:00 PM

For more information regarding the musical, contact Lisa Poggi at and follow the production's Instagram

@ CliftonHS_Drama.

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