Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is transported to modern-day New York City as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs: the “American” Jets and the “Puerto Rican” Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time.
Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Entire Original Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
“West Side Story” was the directing debut for Phil Shaw as the stage and vocal director and Char Peine as the orchestra director. This was the first time that Community Players presented “West Side Story;” it would be repeated in the 1993-1994 season. The orchestra for this production was placed behind the action onstage, and it worked well for the size of the theater. The orchestra never covered up the voices of the singers, but it served as a great background. The show received critical praise and was a financial success for Community Players. “West Side Story” used the front cover of their program to create a painted poster for the outside of the building. This was the first time that a poster was placed outside of the doorway where today we display the ‘Now Playing” show signs.