By Caitlin Goodrich
Pace Academy will kick off the Upper School Theatre’s 2012-13 season with West Side Story Nov. 8 to Nov. 11 in the school’s Fine Arts Center.
The musical is a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that explores the rivalry between the Sharks and the Jets, two street gangs in 1950s New York. It debuted on Broadway in 1957 and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
The 1961 film starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer earned a Best Picture Oscar.
With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, its popular score features showstoppers such as Maria, America, Somewhere, Tonight and I Feel Pretty.
"West Side Story depicts a world in which young lovers are doomed by social conditions they cannot control," longtime Pace Academy Theatre Director Dr. George Mengert said.
"That world is still with us today. Gangs still fight over neighborhood turf; bigotry and racism continue to incite needless killing; and love still struggles to survive in a violent world. Shakespeare created a timeless tale of love destroyed by hate in old Verona; Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim have transformed that tale into a classic work of American musical theatre, with music and lyrics that both terrify and inspire."
With music direction by Beth Barrow-Titus, West Side Story features a talented cast of 38 Upper School students, led by senior Megan McCurry as Maria and senior Joe Capelouto as Tony.
Rounding out the principal cast are seniors Ben Hirsch, Alex Paré and Zach Steinfeld; juniors Cory Bush, Sam Downey and Alexandra McCorkle; sophomores Cooper Drose and Rebecca Husk; and freshman Jared Goldman.
Performances are open to the public and will take place November 8 at 7 p.m., November 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and November 11 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and will be available online starting Oct. 23 at www.paceacademy.org/performingarts.
-Pace Academy contributed this report
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