Viterbo will present a concert production of the iconic musical West Side Story at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30–Saturday Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 6–Saturday, Feb. 7 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8.
Set in the blue-collar neighborhood of Upper West Side New York in the 1950s, West Side Story is the story of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, who are part of rival gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
“West Side Story is the definition of an American musical,” said Matthew Scott Campbell, Viterbo theatre and music theatre department faculty member and director of the production. “Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, it examines people’s differences in a different light, and it is nostalgic in many ways. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim created an amazing piece of theatre that has become a cultural icon.”
This Viterbo production is described as a concert version of the musical because the set and some aesthetics have been scaled back in exchange for a greater focus on the music and lyrics. The live 21-piece orchestra and the majority of the actors will be on stage at the same time.
“The show is going to be good,” said Campbell, who is joined by fellow faculty members Nancy Allen and Shane Rhoades, who are serving as the music director and choreographer, respectively. “We’re revisiting this cultural icon in a new and interesting way that places the emphasis on the music and the actors’ portrayal of the characters.”
The original 1957 production of West Side Story was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The 1961 musical film of the same name won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
West Side Story was originally produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince by arrangement with Roger L. Stevens. It was based on a conception of Jerome Robbins. Book is by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The original production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
West Side Story is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.
Visit the box office to purchase tickets.