June 3rd, 2016

wss anita by deisi

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Natalie Cortez talks 'West Side Story' at Paper Mill

Alex Biese, @ABieseAPP

In the nearly 50 years since it first debuted on Broadway, “West Side Story” has earned a prominent place in the public consciousness. But still, Natalie Cortez knows the show better than most.

A Manhattan native who now calls West Orange home, Cortez appeared in both regional and Broadway productions of the Jerome Robbins/Arthur Laurents/Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim classic over the years.

This month, she’ll be reprising the role of Anita at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn for a production directed by Mark S. Hoebee and running through June 26. She recently discussed the role, the legendary show and more in a telephone interview.
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wss cool knees by skybound2

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Studio Tenn aims high with its upcoming revival of West Side Story

By Martin Brady

Live theater's collaborative nature has always set it apart from the solo arts. Painters, instrumentalists, poets — they can all create on their own. But theater requires dozens of people, each making critical contributions in very different disciplines. Somehow the ringmaster — the director — must pull the circus together into a cohesive whole.

Such is the challenge for Studio Tenn artistic director Matt Logan, whose company presents its long-awaited production of West Side Story this weekend in three performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Few shows demand as much from artists in the way of singing, acting and especially dancing, as this does, its spirit driven by Leonard Bernstein's timeless music, with its urban-jungle rhythms and soaring, melancholic melodies bringing to life the tragic tale of New York City gang violence.
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