‘West Side Story’ to Open at WFU

The Jets and the Sharks will face off on the Mainstage for the Wake Forest University Theatre’s upcoming production of “West Side Story.” The musical drama about gang feuds in New York opens April 11 and runs through April 20.

“The play offers numerous challenges to students. They have to be actors, singers, and dancers,” said director James Dodding, Wake Forest professor of theatre.

In the popular retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Romeo is Tony (junior Chris Yorro), the hero in the Jets gang, and Juliet is Maria (junior Stacy Landis), sister of the leader of the Sharks gang. Anita (senior Leslie Ann Jackson) is Maria’s sympathetic friend. The rival gangs, the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, dance their way through rumbles and a murder.

“West Side Story” is based on the ideas of dancer/director Jerome Robbins, who recruited Leonard Bernstein to write the music. With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the play opened on Broadway 40 years ago. The 1962 film version received five Oscars, including one for best picture of the year.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. on the Mainstage in Scales Fine Arts Center, except a 2 p.m. matinee performance Sunday, April 20. Tickets, available at the theater box office (759-5295), are $15; $10 for students. The box office is open weekdays from 12-5:30 p.m.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events