East Penn Press

Monday, August 20, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDThe cast and crew of “West Side Story” at Emmaus High School, gather for a photo during a dress rehearsal March 16. Performances are 7 p.m. March 21 through 24 and 2 p.m. March 24 and 25 in the auditorium at Emmaus High School, 500 N. Macungie Ave. PRESS PHOTO BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDThe cast and crew of “West Side Story” at Emmaus High School, gather for a photo during a dress rehearsal March 16. Performances are 7 p.m. March 21 through 24 and 2 p.m. March 24 and 25 in the auditorium at Emmaus High School, 500 N. Macungie Ave.
Ryan Murphy, as Riff, Jadel Contreras, as Bernardo and Sebastian Mora, as Tony are involved in a confrontation in “West Side Story.” Ryan Murphy, as Riff, Jadel Contreras, as Bernardo and Sebastian Mora, as Tony are involved in a confrontation in “West Side Story.”
A group of girls sing a song from “West Side Story”during rehearsal. A group of girls sing a song from “West Side Story”during rehearsal.
PRESS PHOTOS BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDThe Jets plan their next move in this scene of “West Side Story.” PRESS PHOTOS BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDThe Jets plan their next move in this scene of “West Side Story.”
Julia Norelli, left, as Anita, works on a dress Alena Slak, as Maria will wear. Julia Norelli, left, as Anita, works on a dress Alena Slak, as Maria will wear.
Maria, played by Alena Slak, rehearses a song March 16. Maria, played by Alena Slak, rehearses a song March 16.
Maria, played by Alena Slak and Tony, played by Sebastian Morad, share a scene on the balcony during rehearsal of “West Side Story.” Maria, played by Alena Slak and Tony, played by Sebastian Morad, share a scene on the balcony during rehearsal of “West Side Story.”
Sebastian Mora, as Tony, rehearses a song March 16. Sebastian Mora, as Tony, rehearses a song March 16.

EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by APRIL PETERSON apeterson@tnonline.com in Local News

‘Tonight, tonight’ ‘West Side Story’ opens tonight

It all begins tonight.

Emmaus High School Theatre presents “West Side Story’ tonight through March 25.

Editor’s Note: The March 21 performance was postponed. The performance has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. March 26. The March 22 performance will go on as scheduled.

The show, famous for songs such as “Somewhere,” “Maria,” “Something’s Coming,” “I Feel Pretty” and, of course, “Tonight,” is often described as a retelling of William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” with Tony and Maria as mid-century versions of the famous teen couple.

At the time of its national debut in 1957 the show was heralded as much as a look at city street gangs as it was the story of star-crossed lovers. Brooks Atkinson, a writer for the New York Times reviewed the show for its debut.

“Gang warfare is the material of “West Side Story,” which opened at the Winter Garden last evening, and very little of the hideousness has been left out,” Atkinson wrote in Sept. 27, 1957.

The promise of a gang fight between the Jets and the Sharks ripples through the show and four deaths are among the consequences of gang violence.

Arthur Laurents wrote the book for the show. The show features lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, in his debut on Broadway and the music of Leonard Bernstein. The EHS production also comes in the two-year long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein and the music of the show has been performed by musicians from Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton to Barbra Streisand, Phil Collins, Idena Menzel and Lea Michele, Tom Waits and the Pet Shop Boys.

Choreographer and dancer Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the original show and earned a Tony award for his work.

The musical tells the story of the Jets and the Sharks, rival street gangs seeking to control their neighborhood on the upper west side of New York City. Tony is a former member of the Jets and Maria is the sister of Bernardo, the current leader of the Sharks.

The EHS cast includes, as The Jets, Sebastian Mora as Tony, Ryan Murphy as Riff, Joseph Galante as Action, Gabe Kleis as A-Rab, Robert Pierno as Baby John, Oliver Vinovskis as Snowboy, Sajan Patel as Big Deal, Patrick Martin as Gee-Tar, Thomas Murgitroyde as Mouthpiece, Rhys Williams as Tiger, Luke Csordas as Jet Dancer, Grace Flood as Anybodys, Gabrielle Mull as Graziella, Analise Edwards as Velma, Maya Schlesinger as Minnie, Danielle Kleinberg as Clarice, Téa van Linde as Pauline and Maya Kita, Rachel Knappenberger and Kaileigh McNellis as Jet Girls and as The Sharks, Jadel Contreras as Bernardo, Alena Slak as Maria, Julia Norelli as Anita, Lorenzo Antigua as Chino, Anwill Martinez as Pepe, Dariel Martinez as Indio, Mekhi Flannigan as Luis, Zach Pacheco as Toro, Zach Shapiro as Juano, Trevor Warren as Moose, Jack McElhenney as Nibbles, Ashlynn Masters as Rosalia, Danielle Potts as Consuela, Emily Wolfe as Fransisca, Emma Rotman as Teresita, Lauren Garcia as Estella, Alison Johnston as Margarita and Jada Witkowski as Shark Girl. The adults are played by Ryan Peiffer as Doc, the proprietor of the neighborhood drugstore; Trevor Warren as Schrank and Rhys Williams as Krupke, the police officers responsible for the streets in the gang turf where the Jets and Sharks battle for control and Patrick Martin as Glad Hand, the social director at the dance where a challenge between the gangs is set in motion.

The EHS production is under the direction of Jill Kuebler and Rita Cortez.

Lauren Leader and Stefania Schoen are the student directors and Csordas is the student choreographer of the show.

Performances are 7 p.m. March 21 through 24 and 2 p.m. March 24 and 25 in the auditorium at EHS, 500 N. Macungie Ave.