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'West Side Story' at University Theatre

Nov. 6, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University Theatre presents "West Side Story," the classic musical based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Nov. 13-23 in Shaw Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

Performances of "West Side Story" in Shaw Theatre

  • Thursday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m.

Set in Manhattan in the mid-1950s, "West Side Story" explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two clashing street gangs on the city's West side. When Tony, a former Jet, falls in love with Maria, sister of Sharks' leader Bernardo, a cycle of hatred and violence erupts. With opposition from both sides, the two continue to meet in secrecy. But, as the love between Tony and Maria grows deeper, so does the hatred and tragedy on the streets.

"West Side Story" is one of the most celebrated musicals in Broadway history. The original 1957 production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, paved the way for other American musicals with its sophisticated, groundbreaking music and innovative dance sequences. Today, Leonard Bernstein's soaring score and Stephen Sondheim's unforgettable lyrics still resonate, making "West Side Story" a timeless story of prejudice and impossible love.

Assistant professor of theatre Jay Berkow directs the cast, which includes Robert L. Smith, professor emeritus of communication, and WMU students Andrea Arvanigian, Keith Erik Brown, Billy Casey, Joe Dely, Heather Dolan, Robert Dozzi, Adelina Feldman-Schultz, Samantha Galvin, Ethan Hedeen, Megan Jacobson, Patrick Keefe, Zach Martens, Ryan Mayes, Tiffany McLaughlin, Julia Mitchell, Chelsea Morgan, Kayla Peabody, Matt Pospeshil, Michael Potsic, Liam Quealy, Samuel Ramirez, Ahren Rehmel, Marcus Ringvelski, Caitlyn Ryan, Cassandra Sandberg, Tony Serra, Martin Skocelas-Hunter, Alicia Thoel, Ashley Travis, Sarah Waalkes, Mikey Winslow and Jared Woodhouse.

The creative team includes WMU students Denise Dietrich, costume design; Rachel Gruetzner, stage management; and Keith Roelfsema, sound design. Also assisting are WMU faculty and staff Tony Calucci, choreography; Vince Faust, scenic design; Matthew Knewtson, lighting design; and David Little, musical direction.

Reserved seating for "West Side Story" is $20, $15 for senior citizens and WMU employees, and $5 for students. Tickets are available by calling (269) 387-6222, online at wmich.edu/theatre, or by visiting the Gilmore Theatre Complex Ticket Office, Miller Auditorium Ticket Office or downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center Box Office. Group discounts are available.

Media contact: Emily Duguay, (269) 387-3227, emily.duguay@wmich.edu

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