March 4th, 2016

wss revival somewhere by openingsong

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‘West Side Story’ Merges Old and New
In Weill Music Institute’s new production, 14 young performers star alongside seasoned professionals

By Darryn King

When it comes to choreography, “West Side Story” has long set the standard for conveying the dreams and frustrations of urban teens.

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But in the Weill Music Institute’s new production of the American musical that updated “Romeo & Juliet” for the gang-riddled streets of 1950s New York, the edgy, explosive choreography of Jerome Robbins will briefly make way for even more contemporary moves.

During the fiery “Dance at the Gym” number, Emanuel Figueroa, a 15-year-old dancer from the Bronx who plays a hot-headed member of the Sharks gang, will bust out some street-style hip-hop dancing.
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Carnegie Hall's large-scale production of West Side Story stars Skylar Astin as Tony, Bianca Marroquín as Anita and Morgan Hernandez, an 18-year-old student at the Boston Conservatory, as Maria. The production plays the Knockdown Center, a 50,000-square-foot former factory located in Maspeth, Queens that now serves as a "space dedicated to cross-disciplinary projects and collaborations.” The cast also includes 14 area high school students as well as a chorus of some 200 students from 25 high schools that sing new choral arrangements created for the production by Thomas Cabaniss. Amanda Dehnert and Marin Alsop helm the production.