Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lyric's `West Side Story' Outstanding Production

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lyric's `West Side Story' Outstanding Production

Article excerpt

The season is ending on a high note for Lyric Theatre, as it closes with an outstanding production of "West Side Story." The awardnning musical opened Tuesday and runs through Aug. 15.

Steve Schroder and Heather Geery, members of Lyric's ensemble, play the leading roles of the starossed lovers, Tony and Maria. As Tony, Schroder was able to give the audience the full strength of his talents as a singer and as an actor. One felt a real sorrow when he was killed at the end.

The shining stars of "West Side Story," however, were imports Andy Ferrara as Bernardo and Cindy Robinson as Anita. (Cindy, being a Lyric veteran before becoming a Broadway veteran, probably shouldn't be called an "import.") Both appeared in the National Tour and Broadway productions of Peter Pan.

Ferrara dominated the stage whenever he appeared. We were sorry he was killed, too. The man has sex appeal as well as talent _ singer, dancer, actor. What a combination. And Robinson was a fiery Puerto Rican counterpart as his girlfriend. With a black wig, she even looked Latino.

Robinson not only played this major role but also served as assistant choreographer for the production, which was directed and choreographed by her bridegroom, Jim Alexander.

Once again, the ensemble of singersncers created a tour de force (am I using that correctly?). They were just great in numbers that required stamina as well as talent. Even the fight scenes were choreographed _ and realistically _ so realistically that one remembers similar gang fight scenes can be viewed almost every evening on the television news programs.

When "West Side Story" opened in 1957, it was considered a landmark show in the history of musical theater. Created by Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim, the musical is a contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet with the lovete issue becoming one of racial prejudice. …

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