WEST SIDE STORY

May 30, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

Credits

Music by LEONARD BERNSTEIN

Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM

Book by ARTHUR LAURENTS

Based on Conception of JEROME ROBBINS

Entire Original Production Directed

     and Choreographed by JEROME ROBBINS

Originally Produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith

     and Harold S. Prince

By Arrangement with Roger L. Stevens

After tryouts in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia beginning in August 1957, the original Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY, a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957, to positive reviews. Directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the new musical starred Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, and Chita Rivera as Anita. The production ran for 732 performances at the Winter Garden Theatre before closing on June 27, 1959, touring the US for 10 weeks, and then returning to the Winter Garden Theatre April 27, 1960, through December 10, 1960, for another 253 performances.

Cast

Jets

Riff                     Wonza Johnson

Tony                   James Kilmeade

Diesel                 Antwaun Stanley

Action                Trevor Carr

A-Rab                 Peter Scattini

Baby John          Patrick Kiessling

Big Deal              Austin Terris

Anybodys           Catherine Cypert

Little J                 Daniel Bennett

 

Their Girls (Jet Girls)

Graziella             Courtney Lawson

Velma                 Piper Friend

Minnie                Grace Muawad

                             Erika Jost

                             Jen Geer

                             Emma Winegarden

Sharks

Bernardo            Alex Miller

Chino                  Jackson Tucker-Meyer

Toro                    John Kroll

Pepe                    John Tramp

Luis                     Ozzy Sanchez

Nibbles               Trevor Tate

 

Their Girls (Shark Girls)

Maria                  Liesl Collazo

Anita                   Jillian Slade

Consuelo            Elizabeth Haller

Rosalia                Marina Kondo

Teresita              Libby Garno

Francisca           Nadina Hassan

Margherita        Emily McCormley

Adults

Lieutenant Schrank        Greg Viscomi

Officer Krupke                 Bob Galardi

Doc                      Quinn Strassel

Glad Hand          Christopher Taylor

Chorale

Zakiyyah Ali

Dan Berland

Deb Berman

Mark Bernstein

Debbie Bourque

Tom Bourque

Brooks Bradley

Madelynne Brown

Carolyn Buckingham

Carol Clyde

Kathi  Cohen 

Lydia Cotner

Elise Crause

Joan Fitzgibbon

Jane Forman

Wendy Fritz

Johanna Grum

Martha Guest

Janice Gutfreund

Julie Halpert

Lucy Hayden

Kayla  Henry 

Abagail Hirshbein

Pei-Yao Hung

Lisa Jevens

Jiwon Kim

Sandy Kreger

Chip Letts

Yingzhi Liang

Steve Lyskawa

Sarah McCurrach

Rose Meehan

Lois Miller

Jill Monash

Marc Neuberger

Terry  O'Connor

Lindsey Roberts

Ozzy Sanchez

Dana Schlegel

Claire Seelig

Miriam Shabazz

Sharon Sheldon

Mary Siebert

Elizabeth Stern

Grace Stone

Joel Swanson

Walt Swanson

Tia Thomas

Jenny Tubbs

Mason Van Gieson

Kathryn Vickers

Kathy Waugh

Karen Willatt

Linda Young

Anna Zanin

Creative Team

Director:                Mike Mosallam

Music Director:     Eric Lofstrom

Choreographer:     Alex Miller

Vocal Director:      Gretchen Suhre

 

Assistant Choreographer:   Quinn Davis

Assistant Director:  Cameron Jones, Jordyn Norkey

 

Producers:                       Jen Geer, Eva Rosenwald

Technical Producer:      Debi Haller

Production Designers:   Jeri Rosenberg, Mark Tucker

STORY

 

Loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and set in the urban slums of New York, the show used, as its modern equivalents for the Montagues and Capulets the juvenile gangs of local whites (the Jets) and immigrant Puerto Ricans (the Sharks). They did battle with childish seriousness over the streets that they claim as their territory.

The Jets, boastful and contemptuous of the immigrants, call on Tony, who used to be their leader but now has a regular job and is on his way to adulthood, to help their new leader Riff and the gang in a challenge to the Sharks. Riff reminds Tony of his old allegiance and of how menacing are the newcomers. Tony reluctantly agrees reluctantly but soon becomes excited with the thrill of potential combat.

Meanwhile, in a bridal shop Anita, the sweetheart of the Shark's leader, Bernado, is converting Maria's communion dress into a gown for the dance that evening. Maria is Bernardo's sister. He has brought her from Puerto Rico hoping that she will marry his best friend, Chino.

At the dance Riff challenges Bernado and the groups agree to do battle. Tony and Maria have seen each other and fall in love, instantly and become oblivious to the menace that is building up around them.

Most of the Puerto Ricans are nervously elated over the coming conflict but they are confident and determined to assimilate into the American way despite the homesickness that some of them feel.

The threatening groups are dispersed by a policeman but the separation is only temporary. What could have just been a game of muscle flexing turns to tragedy when Bernado provokes a knife-fight which results in Riff being killed. Bernado is murdered in turn by the avenging Tony. He flees to the home of Maria who has been told of the news of her brother's death by Chino. Her love for Tony overcomes her hatred for her brother's killer. Tony promises to take her away and in a dream ballet sequence the battle is re-enacted but this time the lovers are not allowed to meet. The dream turns into a nightmare but Tony and Maria flee.

The gangs meanwhile are concerned with their inevitable encounter with the law and mockingly imagine how they will deal with the situation in the number "Gee, Officer Krupke". Anita taunts Maria for remaining faithful to Tony but nonetheless agrees to deliver Maria's message for Tony to the Jets. Unfortunately the Jets threaten to abuse and rape her that she is driven to claim that Chino has shot and killed Maria. Hearing this, angry and wild with grief Tony goes after Chino, but Chino coolly shoots him just as Tony discovers that Maria is not dead after all. Somewhat ashamed, the Jets and the Sharks between them remove Tony's body as Maria follows them.