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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

Spencer Community Theatre presents 'West Side Story'

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"West Side Story" is the blockbuster success in which love transcends language, time, and place. While Manhattan's west side resounds with the clash of Jets and Sharks, Maria and Tony seek a place where their romance can flourish. In their revolutionary piece that changed the picture of the American musical, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents bring their award-winning talent to the timeless story of star-crossed lovers caught in a turf war of rival gangs.

This show is a landmark in the canon of the American musical. Not only did it courageously address dark social issues, it also introduced sophisticated music and dance innovations. The score includes such well-known classics as "Something's Coming," "Maria," "America," "Somewhere," "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty," "Jet Song," and "Cool."

The original production in 1957 was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and was Stephen Sondheim's Broadway debut. After great commercial and critical success, the production wrapped and Bernstein shared that "West Side Story" nearly didn't make it to the stage, confessing to "Rolling Stone," "Everyone told us that "West Side Story" was an impossible project." He referred to the complex score and the death scene at the end of the first act. Columbia Records declined to record the cast album, citing that it would never have commercial success with such a "difficult and depressing score." The score later became woven into the fabric of American classics.

SCT's production features Natalie Gordon and Andrew Buenger as Maria and Tony, Gannett Swan as Bernardo, Kylan Ranslow as Riff, Cindy Barahona as Anita, and Steve Deutsch as Doc. At the helm of the SCT production is Director Christina Liessmann, Assistant Director Kelly Kuehler, Music Director Jonathan Posthuma, and Choreographer Jennifer Hansel (working with Leissmann). The production stage manager is Meghan Vosberg.

It features a cast of over 55 teens and adults, and an orchestra of more than 14 musicians. The cast includes (in addition to those listed above): Matt Sather, John Culver, Ryan Crew, Roman Fahnlander, Tye Reiman, Sean McCord, Wil Boyens, Connor Obermeier, Tory Raynor, Kady Groen, Jordan Hansen, Lauren Sather, Beth Halverson, Katlyn Moore, Katrine Cadman, Kaylin Petersen, Morgan Williams, Shelby Ranslow, Dascha Christ, Sara Studer, Kaitlyn Strock, Liz Feldmann, Brent Berends, Matt Howe, Jim Liessmann, Jason Freeman, Philip Liessmann, Kyle Winterboer, Bryan Lovan, Brandt Poskens, Jonathan Georgopoulos, Blake Carlson, Natalie Gordon, Cindy Barahona, Rachel Dole, Sahara Scott, Nikki Johnson, Elizabeth Glover, Olivia Baxter, Rachel Sather, Hannah Zulk, Maddisen Hall, Sarah Kruger, Krista Determan, Megan Hinrichsen, Hannah Boyens, Elizabeth Heikens, Courtney Upah, Shyan Harrod, Shelby McCord, and Desera Mills.

"West Side Story" plays Thursday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. and runs July 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 8. Tickets may be purchased through the SCT box office at 712-262-7336 and are on sale now. SCT box office hours are 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and an hour before each performance. The SCT Box office is located inside the SCT Playhouse at 518 1st Ave. E.

SCT Playhouse is located one block off Grand Avenue in downtown Spencer at 518 1st Ave. E. Tickets for adults and teens 14 and older are $12, with $6 tickets available for children 13 years old and younger.

"West Side Story" is suitable for teens and some pre-teens, although children 3 and under are discouraged from attending this production. Everyone who enters must have a ticket. SCT Playhouse is accessible to the physically challenged. Reserved parking stalls are located east of the facility.

This production is made possible with the help of sponsorships from Community Bank and Insurance. It is produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. For more information call at 712-262-7336 or visit online at www.spencercommunitytheatre.com.



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