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Erin Smallwood takes a leap to lead role in ‘Chicago’

Erin Smallwood is playing the role of Roxie Hart in the musical production “Chicago.”
Erin Smallwood is playing the role of Roxie Hart in the musical production “Chicago.” - Submitted

By Gina Hartmann

Special to The Western Star

When Erin Smallwood auditioned out for one of the lead roles in “Chicago,” she wasn’t expecting to get the part.

“I decided to challenge myself by participating in a different format,” said the Corner Brook mother of three. “I put myself out there. I still can’t believe I auditioned, let alone that it opens in a (few days).”

Smallwood will play Roxie Hart. It’s her first time in a leading role. With a background in mostly chorus work and dance performance, she is looking forward to the change in scenery.

“This is brand new for me in terms of acting and singing,” she said. “I’m terrified, but more excited to share it with an audience. I still feel like I’m in an alternate reality.”

Her husband, Mark, who will play the part of Billy Flynn, will join Smallwood onstage.

They are both doctors by day, but the entire family is immersed in musical theatre.

“We really enjoy the artistic life,” she said. “It’s an escape from the heaviness of work. I love my career and this, and we don’t have to give up one for the other.

Theatre is also a stress reliever, and a nice diversion from reality, she added.

Smallwood has been involved in Off-Broadway Players shows in the past, mainly as a dancer, but recently did some behind-the-scenes stage work.

She grew up in Kelligrews, where she was involved in theatre, mainly through dance and cabaret, which included a part in Tada Production’s rendition of “Chicago,” before moving to Corner Brook 10 years ago.

“I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s a beautiful place to raise kids, she said. “The arts scene is so rich. It’s so wonderful to be in a place that gets involved in a production.”

“Chicago” was written by Fred Ebb and Bob Fossee, and is being directed by Stephen Perchard.

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