Weston presenting West Side Story through Aug. 4

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WESTON — The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company presents "West Side Story" on the Main Stage from July 12 through August 4.

Star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria fight to keep their forbidden love alive in this reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in 1950's New York. One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, this production commemorates composer Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday, recreates Jerome Robbins' award-winning choreography, and features those gorgeous and iconic songs from Stephen Sondheim and Bernstein, including "America," "Tonight," and "Somewhere."

"West Side Story" originally premiered on Broadway in 1957 and was nominated for six Tony Awards. It has been revived on Broadway three times, most recently in 2009, and has had international productions mounted in the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, Japan, and countless other destinations. A classic from the moment it premiered, "West Side Story" has been performed for over half a century all around the world. The 1961 film adaptation was nominated for eleven academy awards and won ten, including best picture.

As the largest ensemble of the season, the "West Side Story" cast is made up of 27 talented actors, both new and returning to the Weston stage. Max Sheldon (Peter and the Starcatcher) stars as Tony alongside Evy Ortiz as Maria. Ortiz toured throughout the U.S. as Maria in the first national Broadway tour of "West Side Story" (Arthur Laurent's recent Broadway revival); a show that garnered a Grammy for best musical show album. Joining Max and Evy are Jordan J. Ford as Riff, Dan Rosales (Former Young Company, Fiddler on the Roof) as Chino and Courtney Arango as Anita.

Founding director Tim Fort, who directed this season's Young Company production of "Anne of Green Gables," will direct "West Side Story." Felicity Stiverson, who has been seen in The Music Man, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, and more on the Weston Stage, will choreograph using the original Tony Award winning Jerome Robbins' choreography.

The show's creative team includes music director Larry Pressgrove (Weston's Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street), scenic designer Russell Parkman, costume designer Ilona Somogyi, lighting designer Travis McHale, and sound designer Rider Q. Stanton.

Fort calls the show a "beautifully written plea for tolerance and understanding." Although it was written sixty years ago, he notes, "the message feels more relevant today than ever. Whenever we want to remind ourselves of what is important about being loving and human, it will always be important to perform West Side Story."

West Side Story (a #VTArts event) runs July 12-August 8 at the Weston Playhouse, 8 Park St., Weston. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office between 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. at 802-824-5288, or by visiting westonplayhouse.org.


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