'West Side Story' continues April 24-26 at Pasco High

Herald staffApril 16, 2014 

Pasco High School’s West Side Story production features, from left to right in front, Ana Sofia Gonzalez (Anita), Justin Caballero (Bernardo), Justin Christensen (Tony), Anthony Garcia (Riff), and Mali McEnderfer (Graziella).

COURTESY PASCO SCHOOL DISTRICT

Pasco High School will bring the Tony Award-winning musical West Side Story to life April 18-19 and 24-26 in its Gregson Auditorium, 1108 N. 10th Ave., Pasco.

Rob Dennis, musical director, hopes to make another splash with the musical to match the high school's production from last year, In the Heights, which earned several nominations in the annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Awards.

"This is a whole different style of performance than In the Heights," Dennis said. "It highlights our strengths and explores important themes -- racism, love, hate and the hope that love can overcome differences. It's a good message for our community."

West Side Story's music was written by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Bernstein borrowed the storyline from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Tiffany Buissink directs the drama portion of the musical with Randy Bjur as conductor. Matthew Polk and Craig Allen share choreography duties and assistant director jobs. Lighting is handled by Eli Garza and costumer is Jessica Small.

West Side Story is about two New York City rival gangs, the Jets and Sharks, who constantly fight the law, the rules, the system and each other. The tension digs deeper when Tony, a former member of the Jets, meets Maria, the sister of the Sharks leader, Bernardo, and they fall in love. But the ill-fated love ends in tragedy, just like Romeo and Juliet.

The cast includes senior Ana Sofia Gonzalez as Anita, senior Justin Caballero as Bernardo, senior Justin Christensen as Tony, sophomore Kalee Madison as Maria, senior Anthony Garcia as Riff and senior Mali McEnderfer as Graziella.

All performances are at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 or $15 for reserved seats at the door.

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