West Side Story Comes to WBT – A Show Not To Be Missed!Published: Thursday, April 23, 2015 By: Sue Ann Witt Source: Rising Media Group
West Side Story Comes to WBT – A Show Not To Be Missed!
West Side Story opened at Westchester Broadway Theatre on April 16 and what an opening it was. It has taken more than fifteen years to bring this show back to WBT and it was well worth the wait. From the first note to the very end, this proved to be a superior production in every way.
The story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and takes place in the 1950s on the streets of New York. It’s the story of the rivalry of two gangs, Jets and Sharks, the love story of Tony, founder of the Jets, and Maria, sister of Bernardo, head of the Sharks. Tony and Maria want to make a life together in a better world but can’t escape the violence that surrounds them.
While WBT’s shows are always well cast, this production is head and shoulders above most of the shows this writer has seen in years. Each and every performer is a standout, yet no one is lost or overpowered by anyone. Carly Evans (Maria) and Zach Trimmer (Tony) have a chemistry on stage that is so natural that we forget they are actors portraying characters and not an actual couple. Beautiful Carly and handsome Zach are perfection. Allison Thomas Lee (Anita) is sexy and Brandon Contreras (Bernardo) is suave and both demonstrate strong voices and great dance ability. Adam Soniak portrays Riff, current Jets leader; Xavier Reyes is Chino (the boy Maria is supposed to marry); Mike Boland is Doc/Officer Krupke, Ed Romanoff is Lt. Shrank/Gladhand, and Maggie McGrath is Anybody’s. All are perfect in their roles.
Featured are Sara Brophy, Victoria Casillo, Alexander Gil Cruz, Warren Curtis, Sarah Gawron, Michael Graceffa, Anthony Johnson, Tyler John Logan, Erik Magnus, Kelsey Orem, Emilio Ramos, Arianna Rosario, Kevin Santos, Scott Shedenhelm and Melanie Wildman, and each one is a standout as gang members and their girlfriends.
The beautiful score by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is enhanced by the quality of the voices of each and every cast member. “Maria”, “America”, “I Feel Pretty”,, “Somewhere”, “One Hand, One Heart” are among the many numbers in the show. The choreography by Barry McNabb is lively, exciting, expressive, and exhilarating and what agility!
The full house audience gave the cast and all connected with this production a well deserved standing ovation. Bravo to one and all.
West Side Story will be at WBT now through July 5th. For reservations call 914-592-2222 or go to www.BroadwayTheatre.com. The theater is located at 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523.