Croman is no stranger to ‘Chicago’

Roxie Hart was a dream role for Dylis Croman since she first watched “Chicago” as a teenager.

The first time Croman watched “Chicago” she met Ann Reinking, who played Roxie Hart in 1977 and won the Tony Award for best choreography.

“I saw Chicago when I was fourteen,” Croman said. “When I met Ann Reinking, I knew that Roxie was someone I had to play.”

At the time, Croman had been a dancer working in a ballet company. Croman said that dancing for a major ballet company was also one of her big dreams, and she had achieved that but after seeing “Chicago,” she knew that playing on Broadway was what she really wanted to do with her life.

“It was hard work,” Croman said. “There were times when I didn’t get the parts that I really wanted, and I thought, well maybe this part is where I’m really meant to be, but I kept working hard to get there anyway.”

Croman said it can be exhausting at times but she is now playing her dream role and couldn’t be happier. She encourages others to never stop working hard in the industry, to go to all the auditions that they can and keep trying to reach the goals they have set. All her hard work paid off, she said, and she is completely in love with her life now and loves being able to play Roxie Hart.

Croman has played in other Broadway shows such as “Sweet Charity” and “Fosse” but said that “Chicago” is unlike any other show that she has been in. She has been a member of the “Chicago” cast for over a decade now.

“’Chicago’ is special,” Croman said. “There are times when you’re doing other shows eight times a week, and you’re singing the same songs every night, and you get so bored of them, but never with ‘Chicago.’”

Croman said the score is the best part of being in “Chicago;” it’s one that never wears out. She said her favorite song from the score is “Nowadays,” the last song of the performance, because it shows Roxie at a point in the story where she is vulnerable and has had everything taken away from her, and it’s an emotional piece for her.

“’Chicago’ is a show for everyone,” Croman said. “If you don’t care for musicals or have never seen ‘Chicago,’ almost every time it will win you over.”

Hearing the audience cheer for the cast is one of Croman’s favorite parts of performing, she said, and she always encourages audience members to clap and whistle as much as they want.

“Chicago” will be performed 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Keith-Albee.

Rachael Cook can be contacted at [email protected]