Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story first appeared on Broadway in 1957. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim the show has been reproduced numerous times with different styles, but it always includes Jerome Robbins’ original choreography. Presented in association with Spectrum Dance Theater, the 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of the show features a cast of 44 and an orchestra of 25.
The show’s story is set during the 1950 in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City. While two gangs (the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets, a white gang) fight over turf, Tony (a former Jets member) falls in love with Maria (the sister of the leader of the Sharks). If you know how Romeo and Juliet’s romance turned out, you already know the ending of West Side Story, but if you’ve never seen the latter, it is worth exploring. The show features such classic songs as “Maria”, “Tonight”, “America”, “I Feel Pretty”, and “Somewhere”.
West Side Story will be presented from May 31 to June 23, 2019 and though ticket prices can be steep, the 5th Avenue is offering some seats for as low as $29 on May 31, June 4, 5, 6 and 9. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 206.625.1900. The 5th Avenue Theatre is located at 1308 5th Ave. 98101.
In addition, the 5th Avenue’s Rising Star Project will be featuring the same show featuring nearly 100 high school students from all over the state allowing them to learn all aspects of the theatre. Their version of the show will feature students in all the roles necessary to put on the show including acting, directing, costumes, makeup, props, etc. The Rising Star shows will be presented on Friday, July 12 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $16.