A classic American musical celebrating its 60th anniversary this year will return to the local stage this week as Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma presents West Side Story.
The production, written by Arthur Laurents and featuring music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, opens Tuesday, July 25, with performances through Saturday, July 29, at the Civic Center, 201 N Walker Ave., Oklahoma City.
West Side Story is the third of four large-scale, fully-orchestrated productions in Lyric’s 2017 summer season, which concludes with In The Heights (Aug. 8-12).
The musical is based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and explores love in a time of hate between the Sharks and the Jets in New York City’s Upper West Side during the 1950s. It will feature all of the original choreography by the acclaimed Jerome Robbins.
The production is being guest directed by Matthew Gardiner of Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C. Gardiner joins Lyric for this production after recently completing a sold-out run of West Side Story at Signature.
“Gardiner is one of the nation’s top young directors,” said Michael Baron, Lyric’s producing artistic director. “I saw his revolutionary production of this musical last spring and immediately asked him if he would guide this production. This show changed the face of the American musical, and I am proud to share it with a new generation of theatre goers.”
The cast of West Side Story includes Gordie Beingessner (Baby John), Sophie Braud (Consuela), Abigail Cash (Teresita), Gino Chaviano (Chino), Austin Colby (Tony), Alexander Cruz (Bernardo), Desiree Davar (Anita), Conor M. Donnelly (Snowboy), Hannah Fernandes (Rosalia), Ryan Fitzgerald (Action), Makayla Fontaine (Estella), Anthony Giandiletti (Louis), Phillip A. Giandiletti (Anxious), MaryJoanna Grisso (Maria), Jorge Guerra (Indio), Stephen Hilton (Krupke), Keyna Hoselton (Graziella), Jeff Jordan (Diesel), Mattie Joyner (Minnie), Vince Leseney (Doc/Gladhand), Madison Levy (Velma), Christina Licarione (Pauline), Alaina Vi Maderal (Francisca), Christopher Rice (Riff), Abbie Ruff (Anybodys), Michael Anthony Sylvester (Pepe), Ty Hunter Taylor (Big Deal) and Sean Watkinson (A-Rab).
Serving as musical director for the production is Jan McDaniel, faculty member at Oklahoma City University. Amy Reynolds-Reed choreographs the production, and Rachel Flesher serves as the fight choreographer. Other members of Lyric’s creative team include Kimberly Powers as scenic designer, Jeffrey Meek as costume designer, Courtney Strong as props designer, Anthony Risi as sound designer and Helena Kuukka as lighting designer. Julie Meyer serves as production stage manager.
Lyric at the Civic single tickets start at $45. For additional information, call (405) 524-9312 or visit www.LyricTheatreOKC.com.