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NEWS: WEST SIDE STORY opens in Manila next month!

WEST SIDE STORY

Manila, PHILIPPINES — Broadway’s greatest dance musical WEST SIDE STORY premieres at The Theatre at Solaire next month and the excitement couldn’t be more palpable. Daring, realistic and still as relevant as the day it premiered, WEST SIDE STORY comes to Manila as part of a worldwide tour, following sold-out seasons around the world, including London, Paris, Sydney and Berlin.

Boasting of a young all-American cast, many of whom come direct from Broadway, WEST SIDE STORY will be playing for a strictly limited 3-week season beginning 10 August 2017 and tickets are now on sale at ticketworld.com.ph. The Manila season of WEST SIDE STORY is presented by Globe LIVE.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

WEST SIDE STORY is inspired by Shakespeare’s tumultuous love story Romeo and Juliet, and is set amidst the vicious rivalry of teenage gangs in 1950s New York. In a sweltering New York summer, the boys from the Upper West Side neighborhood are on the prowl. Ready to explode at any moment they dance with their girls, the air vibrating with the rhythms of mambo, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. They belong to two enemy street gangs ruling the immigrant quarter – the Jets and the Sharks – and a clash is imminent. The Jets, sons of previous immigrants to America, are fighting the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the Sharks, for domination of the streets in the area. Among them, Tony, a Jet, and Maria, sister to the leader of the Sharks, fall in love.

The action takes place over no more than a few hours of two consecutive days and portrays a love story, action thriller and social study all at the same time. WEST SIDE STORY tells the tale of a love between two young people whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

WEST SIDE STORY packs a powerful punch, both dramatically and musically. At its 1957 Broadway premiere the musical redefined an entire genre in terms of both choreography and score. The genius of its four creators – Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim – produced a piece whose great artistic quality remains unquestioned to this day.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Youthful desires, fears and swagger described so tersely and precisely in Arthur Laurent’s script, have been masterfully translated by legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins into some of the most exhilarating dance routines in the world of musical theatre, full of provocative finger snapping from street gangs and Puerto Rican girls’ whirling skirts on New York City’s flat rooftops.

The now-famous score by Leonard Bernstein braved uncharted waters at the time it was written, and combines influences from American jazz with classical and Latin American music to create a sublime work of art.

Stephen Sondheim, then only an unknown young musician and lyricist who would later rise to great musical heights with works such as Gypsy, Sweeny Todd and Into The Woods, managed to condense the painful process of coming-of-age, passionate love and fateful conflict into concise and punchy song lyrics, creating a legacy of classic songs such as Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Jerome Robbins’ original choreography has been recreated by director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins. Musical supervisor is the renowned conductor Donald Chan, who studied under Bernstein himself, and who leads a live orchestra of 20 musicians.

WEST SIDE STORY has been produced three times on Broadway, twice in London’s West End, and enjoyed numerous US, UK and international tours over the last 60 years. The movie version, released in 1961, went on to win an incredible 10 Oscars (including Best Picture) and further cemented the reputation of this undoubted masterpiece.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Presented by Globe LIVE. Major sponsor is Novuhair. Special thanks to Solaire Resort and Casino, OOCL, Victory Liner, Lyric Piano and Diamond Hotel. Media partners are 2nd Ave, JackTV, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Preview, MEGA Magazine, Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM and Klite 103.5 FM. Official Makeup Sponsor is M·A·C Cosmetics.

WEST SIDE STORY is a Michael Brenner production, produced by BB Promotion GmbH in association with Sundance Productions, Inc. NY, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises.

SOURCE: Concertus Manila

Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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