The College Light Opera Company (CLOC) is proud to present West Side Story as the second production of its 2015 season.
West Side Story, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, opened on Broadway in 1957 and ran for 732 performances.
The story revolves around rising tensions between two New York City street gangs, the American born “Jets” and the Puerto Rican “Sharks.” The Jets’ leader, Riff, has arranged to challenge Bernardo, the Sharks’ leader, for a rumble. He tries to convince the co-founder of the Jets, Tony, to attend a drugstore war council with him. Tony has matured beyond gang activities, but agrees to attend a dance at the gym where the first confrontation will take place. There he falls in love with Maria, Bernardo’s sister, and both, completely enamored with each other, become oblivious to the mounting tension and hatred at the dance. When he leaves Maria later that evening, Tony expresses his newfound love for her, and promises to meet Maria at her place of employment the next day.
The next day, at the meeting, Maria expresses her fear to Tony for the ensuing rumble. Tony goes to the rumble later that evening and, after Riff is killed by Bernardo’s switchblade, stabs Bernardo in blind revenge. The new Sharks’ leader, Chino, swears retribution and returns to Maria’s apartment. He explains what has happened and leaves to hunt down Tony with a gun.
Tony arrives at Maria’s apartment soon afterwards and tries to explain the gruesome turn of events to the agonized Maria. They cling to each other, drained of everything but their love. As Maria’s friend Anita arrives, Tony slips out the window to the fire escape, promising to meet Maria later that evening in another part of the city.
The police arrive to question Maria, and Anita must relay the reason for Maria’s delay to Tony and the rest of the Jets. Taunted and harassed at the drugstore, Anita lies, stating that Maria has been shot dead by Chino in a fit of jealousy. Tony bolts from his hiding place to find his supposedly dead beloved and as he sees she lives, the final and ultimate tragedy occurs. Stunned and silent, the gangs join together in mourning.
Stage director Jacob Allen and Music Director Jonathan Edward Brennand lead this production, which will be followed this season by The Boys from Syracuse opening July 14th. Allen, originally from Oxford, Maine, received his degrees fromLawrence University and the Eastman School of Music. Brennand, originally from Middlesex, England, studied at Drew University and UMass: Amherst.
The company is filled with both new and returning members. Some talents to look forward to are Jake Bell as Action (University of Memphis ’16), Nicholas Boudreaux as Officer Krupke (Crane School of Music ’16), Blake Gronlund as Tony (Western Michigan University), Evan Woods Gunter as Bernardo (Samford University ’17), Maggie Langhorne as Maria (Oberlin Conservatory ’16), Phillip Lopez as Chino (Millikin University ’16), Tom McKinney as Doc (Ohio State University ’16), Christopher Sapp as Lt. Schrank (University of Georgia ’16), Alyson Snyder as Anita (Wright State University ’16), and Steven Telsey as Riff (Elon University ’18).
West Side Story will be running from Tuesday, July 7th through Saturday, July 11th at 8 p.m., with a Thursday Matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling the CLOC Box Office at 508-548-0668 or by visiting the CLOC Box Office, 58 Highfield Drive, Falmouth (open Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 2:00–5:00 p.m., and 7:00 –9:00 p.m.). For more information, please visit www .CollegeLightOperaCompany .com.
The College Light Opera Company is an independent nonprofit educational theatre produced by Robert A. and Ursula R. Haslun now in its 47th season in Falmouth. The Company seeks to provide high-quality musicals and operettas to summer audiences on Cape Cod, while at the same time giving young talent from across the country a chance to begin a career in music theatre. The group consists of 32 talented singers, a fine 18-piece orchestra, and 12 dedicated technicians. The Company is selected annually from applicants in colleges and universities all across the country. The members of the Company are dedicated to refining their craft under the guidance of a trained professional staff.
CLOC is the largest resident theatre company in the United States. Located in Falmouth on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the company performs nine operettas and musicals each season with full orchestral accompaniment. CLOC is one of the only summer theatres that performs with a full pit orchestra. The 86 members of the company spend the summer working in a professional atmosphere free of other academic responsibilities. CLOC welcomes both younger applicants seeking to gain experience in musical theatre and the more mature performer, musician, or technician seeking to polish his or her craft working with a professional staff and participating in nine different productions. The company performs at the air-conditioned Highfield Theatre in Falmouth and plays to enthusiastic standing-room-only audiences throughout the season.