The Encore Musical Theatre Company Presents WEST SIDE STORY

The Encore Musical Theatre Company Presents WEST SIDE STORY

The Encore Musical Theatre Company presents West Side Story, running June 21st through August 12th, 2018. West Side Story is directed by Daniel C. Cooney, music directed by Tyler Driskill, and choreographed by Matthew Brennan.

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.

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 theatre. Bernstein's score for the musical includes "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere", "Tonight", "Jet Song", "I Feel Pretty", "A Boy Like That", "One Hand, One Heart", "Gee, Officer Krupke", and "Cool".

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).

West Side Story officially opens Friday, June 21st, 2018 at 7:30pm with a performance followed by an opening night reception at The Fillmore (formerly Terry B's) Restaurant in Dexter. Tickets: Adults - $36; Seniors - $34; Groups of 10 or Children Under 17 - $32.You can call (734-268-6200) or come in to our box office (3126 Broad Street, Dexter, MI), as well as purchase on our website:

Conor Jordan (Tony) is so excited to be playing Tony in The Encore Musical Theatre Company's production of West Side Story. Conor is going into his senior year at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre and this is his first professional production! A few of his past favorite roles include The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Macheath in The Threepenny Opera (Roosevelt University), and King Charlemagne in the Illinois High School Theatre Festival's All-State production of Pippin.

Aurora Penepacker (Maria) is thrilled to be making her Encore debut in one of her favorite musicals! Born and raised in Chicago, IL, she is a current BFA musical theatre student at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and will be a Junior this fall. Rory most recently appeared as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (CCPA), as a cast member in The Story Is (CCPA), and as Sandra in All Shook Up (Big Deal Productions).

Marisa Rivera (Anita) is thrilled to be playing this iconic role while making her debut at The Encore Musical Theatre Company! Broadway: The Broadway Theatre, New York: Rocktopia Regional: A Chorus Line (Cassie), Anything Goes (Reno) at Palace Theatre, NH. West Side Story (Anita), Chicago (Velma) at Beef and Boards, IN. A Chorus Line (Diana), Little Women (Beth). at Fulton Theatre, PA. Evita (Eva Cover) at Spring Opera House, GA. Damn Yankees (Lola), A Chorus Line (Cassie) at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, SC. Oklahoma! (Ado Annie) at Discoveryland USA!, OK. Marisa graduated in 2008 with a BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Florida. Marisa is currently based out of NYC and has been a proud and grateful member of Actor's Equity Association since 2010.

Eric Rivas (Bernardo) is so excited return to West Side Story as Bernardo here at his Encore Musical Theatre Company debut! Recently performed in Walt Disney World's Castle show, Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire at Magic Kingdom (Tap Soloist). Favorite Regional credits: "Dick" in Dames At Sea (Theatre Zone - Naples, FL), Ensemble/Ozzie Cover in On The Town (Gateway Playhouse - Long Island, NY), West Side Story (Signature Theatre - Washington, DC), "Al" in A Chorus Line (New Bedford Festival Theatre - New Bedford, MA), "Coricopat" in CATS (Cohoes Music Hall, NY), Hello Dolly! (CMH, NY), 42nd Street (Resorts Casino - Atlantic City), "Victor" in Cabaret /"Dick Wilkins" in A Christmas Carol (Palace Theatre - Manchester, NH), Holiday seasons at American Music Theatre (Lancaster, PA) and Little Theatre On The Square (Sullivan, Illinois). Eric danced for a year as a Showboy in Las Vegas's longest running Showgirl Spectacle, JUBILEE! at Bally's Las Vegas. Dancer/Singer/Aerialist for Disney Cruise Lines (DCL DREAM) and Dance Captain/Aerial Captain for Norwegian Cruise Lines new Chinese Immersed Ship in Shanghai, China (NCL JOY). Alumni of The School at Jacob's Pillow (Jazz/Musical Theatre, Tap program) and Full Sail University: Bachelor's Degree of Science in Filmmaking. Proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Daniel C. Cooney (Director, Producing Artistic Director) Broadway: Mamma Mia (Bill), LES MISERABLES, 9 to 5 the Musical, and Bonnie and Clyde. Off-Broadway: Heathers (Kurt's Dad/Veronica's Dad), The Thing About Men (Man). National Tours: Evita (Che), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), LES MISERABLES and The Civil War. Directed at The Encore: Camelot, Into the Woods (Wilde Award Nomination), LES MISERABLES, Evita, Sweeney Todd (Wilde Award Nomination), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Damn Yankees, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last 5 Years, Godspell, and Nevermore. Performances at The Encore: Evita (Che), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), and Nevermore (Edgar Allen Poe). He recently began teaching at Roosevelt University in Chicago as Head of the Musical Theatre Department. Dan is a graduate of The Yale School of Drama.

Tyler Driskill (Music Director) is an accompanist for the U-M Musical Theatre and Dance departments. Recent music direction credits include Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd, Assassins (Wilde Award for Best Music Direction), Into the Woods (Wilde Award for Best Music Direction), My Fair Lady (Tony Walton, dir.), Into The Wild (Developmental Premiere), Sondheim on Sondheim, Mary Poppins, and An Evening with Jeremy Jordan for the Encore Musical Theatre Company. He has also music directed productions for Tipping Point Theatre and the Dio Theatre. Tyler has performed with vocalist Brad McNett at the Metropolitan Room in New York City.

Matthew Brennan (Choreographer) is thrilled to return to Encore for West Side Story. Although based in Louisville, KY Dexter has certainly become home away from home. Matthew had the distinct pleasure of directing, choreographing and designing the set for last fall's Sweeney Todd as well as directing Assassins (Wilde Award nomination for Best Musical) and The Full Monty and has choreographed numerous Encore productions including My Fair Lady, Sondheim on Sondheim, Bonnie and Clyde, Into the Woods, South Pacific and Spamalot (Wilde Award Nomination: Best Choreography) and will return this fall to direct Encore's upcoming production of A Little Night Music. Matthew also directs, choreographs and performs regularly with Derby Dinner Playhouse and Stage One Family Theatre in Louisville.

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