Tuesday, September 22, 2009

West Side Story & Romeo & Juliet

Past NCT production of West Side Story

WSS is the modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, written in the late 1590s by William Shakespeare. Where Romeo & Juliet were star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy, Tony & Maria (of WSS) are star-crossed lovers in the violent streets of New York, doomed by social conditions they cannot control. Like Romeo & Juliet, Tony & Maria are from opposite groups and this poses major problems in their relationship.

WSS takes place over two days, with the song and dance pushing the plot along at a rapid pace. In Shakespeare's story the Capulets and Montagues are the feuding families, and in WSS the Jets (who consider themselves "American") and the Sharks (who are Hispanics, mainly of Puerto Rican ancestry) are two feuding neighborhood gangs. I won't give away the ending, but if you are aware of how Romeo & Juliet concludes, that should be some indication - this is a tragic love story.

Romeo & Juliet

Although WSS debuted on Broadway in the 1950s, it is still relevant today and is currently playing on Broadway, but with a new twist. Their version has some songs and dialog in Spanish, to make the story more authentic. However, they have recently changed some of these songs back to English so that the audience can better understand what is going on in the story.

Our version of WSS being produced for Triangle audiences only (running Oct. 17-25 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium) will be spectacular! Josh Bergasse, the director and choreographer, is going to bring a lot to the table to keep the story fresh and exciting, and showcase the Jerome Robbins choreography as well.

WSS director, Joshua Bergasse

Tickets are on sale now - call the NCT Box Office at 919-831-6941 x6944, Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visit www.nctheatre.com for more information.

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