As finger clicks resonate around the Christ’s College auditorium this week, the last fortnight of rehearsals for Westside Story heralds a powerful opening on May 16th.
The 2018 Senior Drama production sees a stellar Rangi Ruru and Christ’s College company bringing energy, vitality and chutzpah to this tale of vicious rivalry, passion, divided loyalty and heartbreak. It’s a story that reverberates through the generations, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the countless tragedies of intolerance in today’s world. Youthful desires, fears and swagger are as ubiquitous now as they were back in 1950s America.
Co-directors Peter Rutherford (Director of Theatre Arts, Rangi Ruru) and David Chambers (Director of Drama, Christ’s College) are once again being blown away by the incredible talent of the students.
“There’s a nuance about this particular musical, that I often think is very strongly rooted in the knowledge we have of the era – the style, the race tensions, even the legend that is Natalie Wood in the film. Our students, whose parents were not even born when the film came out, have captured that nuance and made it their own; it’s an outstanding cast,” says David Chambers.
Rangi’s Peter Rutherford agrees. “Holly Evans is playing Maria and it is almost as though the part was made for her. The same could be said of Dominic Edmond who plays Tony. The supporting roles are absolutely key in Westside Story; the dancing, the dramatic support – it’s a very strong ensemble cast.”
The show’s producer Christ’s College’s Robyn Peers, says “the crew of students from both schools has undertaken a major task completing the set - made to measure by Scenic Solutions. Now the lighting, sound, props and costumes are coming together to complete the look and feel of this momentous production.”
Westside Story opens on May 16th for four shows only. Tickets will sell out. Be quick.
Westside Story ……………
In a sweltering New York summer, the gangs from the Upper West Side 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. The beats belong to two enemy street gangs – the Jets and the Sharks – ruling the immigrant quarter … and a clash is imminent.
The Jets, first generation New Yorkers, are fighting the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the Sharks, for domination of the streets. Among them, Tony, former leader of the Jets, and Maria, sister to the leader of the Sharks, fall in love.
Let us take you there …
NOTE: At the conclusion of each performance, there will be a collection taken for Aviva (Family Violence Services).
Dates: 16th – 19th May
Place: Christ’s College
Costs: $25 - $40
Website to buy: westsidestory.co.nz
Cast (principal players):
Maria Holly Evans
Tony Dominic Edmond
The Girl Rose Lewis
Schrank Harrison Voice
Officer Krupke Tom Davidson
Doc Sam Howard
Gladhands Roisin Cassidy