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INTERVIEW: Tyler Michaels on West Side Story and His New Theatre Company

by Basil Considine

Somali gangs in Minneapolis might get all the press, but the City of St. Paul is about to get its very own gang problem. Well, kind of – the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story are set to occupy the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts from April 4-16. This classic musical is being produced as a collaboration between the Ordway and the Teatro del Pueblo, and engages with gang rivalries, immigration tension, and other themes that remain surprisingly relevant today.

In this production, Tyler Michaels plays Tony, a former Jets member who is swept back into the violence and falls tragically in love with Maria (Evy Ortiz). Basil Considine sat down with Tyler Michaels to discuss his acting career, his new theatre company, and returning to the role of Tony.
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Energetic revival of 'West Side Story' sets new standard for Ordway Center
REVIEW: This electric revival harks back to Jerome Robbins' original staging 60 years ago.

By Rohan Preston Star Tribune

Is there anything that Twin Cities theater phenom Tyler Michaels cannot do? Here, at last, is one: In “West Side Story,” which had its thrilling opening Thursday at Ordway Center, Michaels doesn’t even attempt a New York accent for this “Romeo and Juliet” story about battling Big Apple street gangs.

Otherwise, Michaels holds his own, singing and dancing as the romantic lead Tony opposite Evy Ortiz’s entrancing Maria. These two headliners add to the electricity rippling off the stage from a solid revival of the classic musical, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year.
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