West Side Story 06/21–08/12Buy Tickets
DEXTER—The Encore Musical Theatre Company presents West Side Story, running June 21 through August 12. West Side Story officially opens Friday, June 22 at 7:30 pm with a performance followed by an opening night reception. Tickets are available by calling 734-268-6200 or online at www.theencoretheatre.org.
West Side Story is a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story is directed by Daniel C. Cooney, music directed by Tyler Driskill, and choreographed by Matthew Brennan.
The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid 1950s, an ethnic, blue- collar neighborhood (in the early 1960s, much of the neighborhood was cleared in an urban renewal project for the Lincoln Center, which changed the neighborhood’s character). The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, from Puerto Rico, are taunted by the Jets, a white gang. The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang’s leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theater.
The Encore’s production stars Conor Jordan (Tony), Aurora Penepacker (Maria), Eric Rivas (Bernardo), Marisa Rivera (Anita), and Spencer “Skip” Stewart (Riff); with Michael Szymanski, MD (Doc/Gladhand), Keith Kalinowski (Lt. Shrank), Dan Morrison (Officer Krupke), Dominic Dorset (Chino), Connor Giles (Action), Kaimana Neil (Diesel), Jessica DiForte (Anybodys), Josh England (Baby John), Jake Delay (A-Rab), Sebastian Gerstner (Big Deal), Xavier Bush (Pepe), José Martinez-Chavarria (Luis), Alex VIllaseñor (Indio), Emily Hadick (Velma/Somewhere Singer), Danielle “Dee Dee” Fattore (Graziella), Jalbelly Guzmán (Rosalia), Lexie Janda (Francisca), Kristina Bermudez (Consuela), Maeve Cosgriffe (Paula), and Anna Dreslinski Cooke (Minnie).