Photo Flash: The Heights Players' WEST SIDE STORY; Show Runs Thru 5/25
New York--The Heights Players ("Yentl," "Doubt"), a not-for-profit theater company based in Brooklyn, closes its 58th season with the seminal theatrical piece WEST SIDE STORY, which features book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and original direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Thomas N. Tyler ("A Chorus Line," "Finian's Rainbow") directs this production, which runs until Sunday, May 25, at 26 Willow Place, Brooklyn, N.Y. For tickets ($23-25), call 718-237-2752.
WEST SIDE STORY is often credited with the reinvention of the Broadway musical in the mid-50s. The musical's "dark theme, sophisticated music, electrifying integrated dance, and no-holds-barred reflection of social problems marked a turning point in American theater. What had once been termed 'musical comedy' became 'musical theater,' as directors and actors realized for the first time that the principles of serious drama should be applied to serious musical," wrote theater education practitioner Christina Weakland.
WEST SIDE STORY is a retelling of William Shakespeare's tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. It boasts classic show tunes such as "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty," "America," and "Somewhere."
Cast include Joe Bliss (Riff), John Mezzina Hannigan (Tony), Leo Contrino (Action), Michael Patrick Damato (A-Rab), Sean Dearing (Baby John), Joseph Lopez (Diesel), James David Dirck (Snowboy), Cole Tucker (Big Deal. Dream Tony), Adrea Bernardo (Anybodys), Kristen Keim (Velma), Bridget McFadden (Graziella), Nicole Naples (Minnie, "Somewhere" Soloist), Amanda Nicole Mendez (Clarice), Danielle Hillanbrand (Pauline), Julie Reed (Hotsie), Adrian Miranda (Bernardo), Lianne Gennaco (Maria), Lora Nicolas (Anita), Juan Gabriel Landreau (Chino), David Curry (Pepe), Tony Artiga (Indio), Matthew Saint Walker (Toro), Leoijie Estacio (Nibbles), Cait Farrell (Rosalia, "Somewhere" Soloist), Dina Grilli (Consuelo), Elizabeth Ukpe (Francisca), Alyson Ryan Fuchs (Teresita), Shary Cabrera (Estella, Dream Maria), Erika Brito (Margarita), Jim McNulty (Lt. Schrank), Steven Ackerman (Officer Krupke), Sam Greene (Glad Hand, Officer Flaherty), R.L. Schwartz (Doc), Ed Heal (Papa Luis), Mary-Powel Thomas (Mama Carmen), Doris Martir (Madame Lucia), and Maureen Vidal (Pilar).
Aurora Dreger is choreographer; Anne Rebold, musical director; Dina Grilli, costume designer; Leo Contrino, lighting designer; and Gary VanderPutten and Colleen Finn, set designers.
Bridal Shop: L-R Juan Gabriel Landrau as Chino, Lianne Gennaco as Maria, Lora Nicolas as Anita, Adrian Miranda as Bernardo
Tony and Maria meet for the first time: Lianne Gennaco as Maria and John Hannigan as Tony
"Tonight": Lianne Gennaco as Maria and John Hannigan as Tony
"America": Lora Nicolas as Anita, Cait Farrell as Rosalia, Shark Girls: Dina Grilli, Elizabeth Ukpe, Alyson Ryan Fuchs, Shary Cabrera, and Erika Brito
"Cool": Joe Bliss as Riff, Kristen Keim as Velma. Jet boys and girls in picture: James Dirck, Andrea Bernardo, Michael Damato, Joseph Lopez, and Bridget McFadden
Sharks and Jets' War Council: Adrian Miranda as Bernardo, Joe Bliss as Riff. Jet boys L-R: Cole Tucker, Michael Damato, Leo Contrino, Joseph Lopez, Sean Dearing, and James Dirck
"One Hand, One Heart": Lianne Gennaco as Maria, John Hannigan as Tony
"I Feel Pretty": Lianne Gennaco as Maria, Shark girls L-R: Cait Farrell as Rosalia, Dina Grilli as Consuelo, Erika Brito, Elizabeth Ukpe as Francisca, Mary-Powel Thomas, Alyson Fuchs, and Shary Cabrera
"A Boy Like That": Lianne Gennaco as Maria, Lora Nicolas as Anita
"Gee, Officer Krupke": Jet boys L-R: James Dirck as Snowboy, Sean Dearing as Baby John, Leo Contrino as Action, Michael Damato as A-Rab, and Cole Tucker as Big Deal