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“West Side Story” Re-imagined Over the Years but Director Sticks to Tradition

July 2015: This post is to archive information about the production. North Bay Stage Company produced “West Side Story” at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts (now known as Luther Burbank Center for the Arts) – July 2015 in Santa Rosa, CA — “West Side Story” productions have been re-imagined in several different ways over the years but director John DeGaetano and resident company followed their plan on sticking to tradition.

“It’s a classic retelling,” said NBSC’s Artistic Director John DeGaetano. North Bay Stage Company’s production of the modern musical take on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is set to open July 17th 2015. The musical hasn’t been performed in the SF North Bay area for more than six years. The production will feature more than 30 Bay Area actors, backed by a live orchestra; along with what DeGaetano calls “stunning” dance numbers.

Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the musical is based on a dance-conception by Jerome Robbins. Hailed by critics as one of the major achievements in mid-century theatrical history, the musical is set in New York City in the 1950s, deals with rival gangs: the Jets and the Sharks. Tony and Maria, with ties to opposite sides of the conflict, fall in love and must deal with the fallout from their family and friends.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. “It’s timely, because it deals with bigotry and bias and some of the same things that we experience today,” DeGaetano said. “What happens when you let bias, rage and these sort of issues get out of control? The production is for the most part, family-friendly, and we hope it will spark some conversation.” Bernstein’s score for the musical includes “Something’s Coming”, “Maria”, “America”, “Somewhere”, “Tonight”, “Jet Song”, “I Feel Pretty”, “and One Hand, One Heart” among others.

North Bay Stage Company 2015 productions included: Witness for the Prosecution – May 1st -17th, Les Miserables – One performance only June 30th, and West Side Story in July of 2015. North Bay Stage Company, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization is a resident theatre company of Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, located at 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA. The organization endeavors to provide an avenue by which local actors, singers and dancers along with technical crew; musicians and upcoming artists may have a chance to learn or showcase their talents; achieved by an assortment of productions designed to encourage growth in our theater arts community. For more information or upcoming events visit their website northbaystageco.org or contact them at info@northbaystageco.org

About John DeGaetano
Director, Artistic Director and Consultant, John DeGaetano has been involved in musical theatre most of his life; director credits include productions; Evita, Cats, Pirates of Penzance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chicago and West Side Story. He has assisted with numerous productions, Radio and Television work as well as producing shows such as Miss Saigon, and directing one of his own short plays in New York City and a short series in London. John has written several full-length plays and a short selection series of Sherlock Holmes 10 Minute Plays – designed primarily for students to build experience in performance skills. Stories are easy to recite, true to form in elements of mystery/comedy, light-hearted adventures, and available on Website or View on Amazon.com or Watch Video Trailer. Contact Us

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1 Comments to ““West Side Story” Re-imagined Over the Years but Director Sticks to Tradition”

  1. Great Blogpost thank you for sharing.