Spring musical '09: Are you ready to "Feel Pretty"?
Auditions for "West Side Story" to be held Friday and Saturday
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 2:52pm
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
SPRING MUSICAL 2009
- Director: Barbara Ridenour
- Music Director: Rick Murphy
- Auditions: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23,
& 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 24, North Attic
- Performances: 7 p.m. April 2;
7:30 p.m. April 3 & 4, North Attic Playhouse
I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.
— "I Feel Pretty," from "West Side Story," music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
THIS YEAR'S SPRING musical is going to be a little different from years past, when the shows were happy and comedic, with fluffy yet convoluted plots, such as Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" in 2007.
The selection for this year — "West Side Story" — takes the genre of musical theater in a whole different direction.
"We thought this would definitely be a change from the usual fare," said drama director Barbara Ridenour. "The things that make it a good musical are also the things that make it a challenge. If we don't take on a challenge once in a while, we won't grow."
The musical will be performed April 2, 3, and 4 in the North Attic Playhouse.
Auditions are set for Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m to noon. Voice and dramatic auditions will be held in the South Attic, and students will show off their dance skills in the North Attic. Auditioners need to come prepared with a short song (with sheet music), monologue, and be ready to dance.
"West Side Story" is the classic tale of forbidden love modeled after "Romeo and Juliet." The story revolves around two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, in Manhattan's West Side in the 1950s.
The Jets, led by Riff, are in a rivalry with the Sharks, led by Bernardo. When they decide to take their rivalry to the local dance, Riff invites Tony, a former leader of the Jets.
After some dance battling, Tony meets Bernardo's sister, Maria, and it's love at first sight. The couple faces a myriad of challenges as they struggle to have their relationship accepted by the community.
The show, featuring classic songs such as "I Feel Pretty," "Tonight," "America," and "Somewhere," calls for a cast of 39 people — 23 men and 16 women, including some without singing parts. Most of the characters are supposed to be teenagers.
Good voices and acting skills are always important, but, said Ridenour, that's not all she and music director Rick Murphy will be looking for.
"Attitude and passion are more important than 'talent,'" she said. "A mediocre singer who really puts his/her heart into a song and sells it is more interesting than someone who hits the right notes and has a good voice but no personality."
Musicians interested in performing in the orchestra should talk to Murphy, and anyone who would like to be in the crew should talk to Ridenour.
"WEST SIDE STORY" CHARACTERS
- Tony (tenor): co-founder of the Jets & lead male role
- Riff (tenor): leader of the Jets
- Action (baritone): easily angered and excited
- Diesel (baritone): toughest of the gang, tall and muscular
- A-Rab (baritone): weary one of the gang
- Baby John (baritone): youngest of the Jets, A-Rab's best friend, also the most sensitive
- Big Deal: hangs around with Diesel a lot & the goof
- Snowboy: cool, calm, collected
- Mouthpiece: mostly a chorus Jet
- Gee-tar: mostly a chorus Jet
- Tiger: mostly a chorus Jet
- Velma: Diesel's girl
- Graziella: Riff's girl
- Anybodys: a tomboy who wishes to become a Jet
- Bernardo (baritone): the leader
- Chino,the young and shy one
- Maria (soprano): lead female role
- Anita (alto): Bernardo's girl
- Rosalia (mezzo-soprano)
- Consuela (mezzo-soprano)
- Officer Krupke: an officer of the town
- Doc: owner of the drug store
- Lt. Schrank: the town's lieutenant
- Glad Hand: chaperone at the dance
Source: Wikipedia entry on "West Side Story"