VELMA Kelly was the top dog in jail before Roxie Hart came along.

Both facing charges of murder, Roxie steals the spotlight and the press are keen to put her on the front page, but Velma’s got a toughness about her that Roxy doesn’t.

Velma Kelly is being played by secondary school teacher Bronwyn Kalos in Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s upcoming production of Chicago.

“Velma’s pretty experienced and from the wrong side of the tracks,” says Bronwyn.

“She’s a bit miffed when Roxie comes on the scene and starts stealing her thunder and getting all of the attention.”

When the science teacher isn’t showing students how to create volcanoes from bi-carb soda and vinegar, Bronwyn is coordinating school productions at Leongatha’s Mary MacKillop College.

The Chicago musical has given Bronwyn a chance to be a little self-indulgent and be in front of the audience rather than behind the scenes.

She leapt at the chance to be in Chicago when she heard it would be coming to Wonthaggi.

Bronwyn says she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be in a local show that was choreographed by Bob Fosse.

“I haven’t performed in a musical for a long time, so it was an exceptional opportunity to work with some choreography that’s iconic.

“And also to be part of a cast where dance is the focus, and not often is dance the focus, so it’s actually a real privilege to be able to do some of this work.”

Bronwyn and her nemesis Roxie Hart, played by Nina Barry-Macaulay, have both been practising their lines and dance moves for the past two months.

While the two compete for the spotlight during the show, they both agree they get along just fine afterwards.

“I worked on a show last year with Nina, which was Evita. I did the choreography, so it’s lovely to actually be performing with her,” says Bronwyn.

“She’s really talented. She’s a beautiful singer and we have a couple of duets together, which is so much fun.”

Chicago will run for two weeks at the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre from Saturday, August 19 to Saturday, September 2.

Tickets can be purchased online at or in the foyer of the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre from 10am to 2pm, Tuesday to Friday.