Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fiddlehead Theatre Company Presents "West Side Story" - The Jets and The Sharks Rumble In Dorchester

The Fiddlehead Theatre Company kicks off what promises to be a strong 2015-2016 season with one of theater's most iconic musicals: "West Side Story."  This modern take on the Romeo and Juliet story is as timeless as the Shakespeare play that inspired the book by Arthur Laurents.  Leonard Bernstein set the story to music with lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins created choreography that remains one of the benchmarks of great dance.

The current production playing at the Strand Theater in Dorchester delivers all of the energy and punch that audiences have come to expect from this iconic work of art.  There are several highlights that come to mind:

  • Musical Director Charles Peltz has assembled a 22-piece orchestra that fills the performance space with the familiar Bernstein music.
  • Choreographer Wendy Hall has taken the beloved Jerome Robbins dance numbers an invested them with energy and drive that keep them a living organism rather than a balletic museum piece.
  • Kim Corbett is a luminous Maria.  Her singing voice is worth the price of admission.  There are some note that she launches towards the upper reaches of the Strand Theater that shimmer like crystal.  The chemistry that she shares with Tony is believable and heart-breaking.  Their duet "One Hand, One Heart" is a highlight.
  • Jeffrey Zicker is a very convincing Tony.  In the early numbers, he seemed to struggle a bit in his upper register, but as the performance progresses, he gained strength and confidence and matched Ms. Corbet's sound in their later duets.
  • Pamela Turpen is strong as Anita.  "A Boy Like That" is sung with thunder in her heart and voice.  Scenic Designer Mac Young uses multiple levels of the Strand space to stage the action.  Anita luxuriates in a bath that is set in a mezzanine box.
  • Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva is a strutting and swarthy Bernado, oozes hatred for the Jets from his every pore.  His chemistry with Anita is sultry and palpable.
  • Theo Lencicki is an excellent Riff,leader of the Jets.  "Jet Song" and "Cool" are great ensemble numbers led by him.  
  • Carl-Michael Ogle is a very sympathetic Chino, the Shark is in way over his head in trying to gain revenge for Bernado's death.
  • The always reliable John Davin makes a great Doc and high school Principal.
  • The dancing throughout this production is spectacularly good.
"Westside Story"
Fidlehead Theatre Company
Strand Theater
Through October 25th
Costumes are by Stacy Stephens, and Lighting by Dan Jentzen.

Fiddlehead Theatre Company is offering a free trolley service from Copley Square to the Strand Theatre.  This is a nice addition for those who do not find it easy to get to Uphams Corner. See details in the website link below.

This promises to be a strong season for Fiddlehead, with "The Little Mermaid," "Rent" and "Showboat" as the remaining shows.

A few tickets remain for this weekend's performances.  Get them while they are still available. 



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The Jets
Riff….. Theo Lencicki*
Tony….. Jeffrey Zicker
Action….. Gabriel Corey
A-RAB….. Kieron Cindric
Baby John….. Isaac Jankowski
Big Deal….. Dougie Robbins
Diesel….. Andrew Winans
Their Girls
Graziella….. Lindsay Bell
Velma….. Sarah Kawalek
Minnie….. Alex Paul
Clarice….. Rianna Hidalgo
Pauline….. Rebecca Frazier
Anybodys….. Lydia Ruth Dawson
The Sharks
Bernardo…..Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva*
Maria….. Kim Corbett*
Anita….. Pamela Turpen*
Chino…..Carl-Michael Ogle*
Pepe….. Felix Marchany
Indio….. Xavier Reyes
Luis….. Arthur Cuadros
Anxious….. Adrian Ruz
Their Girls
Rosalia….. Kara Nelson
Consuelo….. Greer Gisy
Teresita….. Courtney Ortiz
Francisca….. Ryoko Seta*
Estella….. Marta Rymer
The Adults
Doc….. John Davin*
Schrank….. Daniel Boudreau
Krupke….. Bryan Miner*
Gladhand….. John Davin*
*Member – Actors’ Equity Association
Creative Team for West Side Story
Meg Fofonoff … Founding Producing Artistic Director
Stacey Stephens … Associate Producing Artistic Director
Alycia Marucci … Production Stage Manager
Jaclyn Fulton … Assistant Stage Manager
Charles Peltz … Musical Director
Wendy Hall … Choreographer
Arthur Cuadros … Assistant Choreographer
David “Butch” Foley … Technical Director
Bill Hawkins … Assistant Technical Director
Mac Young … Scenic Design
Daniel H. Jentzen … Lighting Designer
Margaret Galvin … Assistant Costume Designer / Wardrobe Supervisor
Maya Landi … Hair & Makeup / Blood Designer

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