Dear Readers, It is the year 2015 - it is San Diego - and, it is the year of multiple WEST SIDE STORY productions - that (currently) we know of ...
Leonard Bernstein & Jerome Robbins' (above)
WEST SIDE STORY
SD Musical Theatre's WSS - Feb 13th - Mar 1st, at their new Spreckels Theatre digs ... with
Direction by James Vasquez
J-Company Youth Theatre - May 8th - 17th, at the JCC La Jolla Theatre. with ...
Direction by Joey Landwehr
Lamb's Players - June 12th - July 28th
at Lambs Players' Theatre (Coronado), with
Direction by Deborah Gilmour Smyth (LES MIZ)
and, possible other WSS productions, yet to be announced. Like last year, 2014 - we had at least four productions of LES MISERABLES - the ... CYA's fab-production "Les Miz" ... Lamb's Players big hit "Les Miz" ... CCT's Mt Helix Amphitheatre production of "Les Miz" ... and, the most recent SDSU Robert Kempe's concert mammoth presentation of "Les Miz", at the Don Powell SDSU Campus Theatre.
Now, if only SD theatre producers would agree, to talk to each other, a couple of times a year, in planning their seasons - repeated duplications of the same show (within the same year) could be averted!
Jerome Robbins' 1957-58 original production of WEST SIDE STORY, set the bar high, for one of Broadway's greatest classic musicals.
Larry Kert, as TONY
For this retired (former choreographer), now an editor-columnist, I was one of Jerry Robbins' numerous assistant choreographers - and, was called-upon to stage and direct the Tokyo Premiere of WSS - bringing with me, several WSS veterans, to appear in Japan ... Larry Kert (above) ...
Tucker Smith (as RIFF) ... and
Jose de Vega (above, as CHINO) - and later, upon returning to the USA, under producer Dr. Bob Bunyard, I staged the SD Premiere of WSS
- featuring Alan Jon (above as TONY), and Nanci Hunter (as ANITA) - and soon after that, subsequent WSS productions around the country.
This writer's past years closeness to WSS, and Jerry Robbins' inspirational choreography (I knew every step, every note), and many of Jerry's personal touches to keep the tensions, between WSS NYC gangs of the - 'Sharks' and the 'Jets', genuine and believable - Jerry would create small 'riffs' between the Jets and Sharks actor-dancers cast members - like requiring separate backstage entrances and dressing rooms, to keep the Jets and Sharks apart - until they first would meet each other on stage - and, the tensions between the two gangs, as high as possible!
As the 1st WSS production coming-up - the advance promo on SDMT's upcoming WSS, at their new venue Broadway's Spreckels Theatre, will feature a 28 member full show orchestra (under MD Don LeMaster), under the choreographic helm of ...
director James Vasquez, with ...
Jacob Caltrider, as TONY
Jessica Suza as MARIA
Jeffrey Scott Parsons as RIFF
Natalie Nucci as ANITA
Kikau Alvaro as BERNARDO
In careful consideration of sensitivity to Jerome Robbins' famed WEST SIDE STORY, we are assigning our most knowledgeable writer-reviewers to attend/cover the SDMT production - watch for 'review commentary' in our next issue of the BRAVO SD Theatre Reviews Entertainment Magazine. - soon to follow!
I'd like to leave you all with a 'thought' from famed poet-writer RUMI (below) ....
Do go see other exciting theatre productions - check-out the adjacent advertisements on this SDTR Home Page.