Velma Kelly

Velma Kelly

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in the limelight. Velma came of age in Chicago’s hot jazz clubs in the 1920s. She and her sister “Had an act that couldn’t flop,” as Velma sings. “My sister and I were headed straight for the top. My sister and I earned a thou a week at least, but my sister is now unfortunately deceased.”

Living… in Cook County Jail. Velma was arrested for the double murder of her husband and her sister, who she caught doing “the spread-eagle” one night after a show. As she explains it, "Well, I was in such a state of shock that I completely blacked out; I can’t remember a thing. It wasn’t until later, when I was washing the blood of my hands, I even knew they were dead."

Profession… former starlet turned death row inmate. Velma’s fame has only increased after committing murder. The whole spectacle's ending up to be good for her career.

Interests… herself, just like anyone else in show business. The vain and self-centered singer enjoys all the attention that her murder trial has brought her, until her limelight is stolen by the newest Cook County inmate, Roxie Hart.

Challenge… getting acquitted and reclaiming her fame. There isn’t much room on death row for two celebrity murderers, and now that the newer, more scandalous Roxie Hart is getting noticed, Velma has to figure out a way to re-capture the spotlight. As she gripes about Roxie, “First she steals my publicity. Then she steals my lawyer, my trial date. And now she steals my goddamn garter.”

Personality… glamorous, narcissistic, and sociopathic. Velma only cares about fame and fortune, and is willing to go to any extreme to get back on center stage.


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