Two rival gangs are already the basis for a great story. Add in a twist of Romeo and Juliet, and you’ve got West Side Story: an Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim musical preformed by South County Secondary School this weekend.
This play is about two fighting gangs: the classic-American Jets and the Puerto Rican-American Sharks. While at a dance to discuss the terms of a future brawl, Tony, a Jet, and Maria, the leader of the Shark’s little sister, see each other and fall in love at first sight. This kick-starts the Romeo and Juliet theme and unfolds into the rest of the play.
Whitney Turner did an excellent job in her role as the lead actress, playing the character Maria. With her Spanish accent, she did a great job at showing where her character was from. Her acting was also top-notch, displaying her character’s emotions in a way that could be described as natural. Her singing was also great, making the songs seem like the easiest things to sing. Along side her, Dean Maldonato also did a great job in his role as Tony. His singing was great, and whenever he was onstage with Turner, he really showed just how much his character loved hers. As far as acting goes, he was obviously in character, and one would think that that would be how he acts all the time.
Nikko Custodio in his supporting role as Riff did a great job with being the leader of the gang, showing authority while also being a friend to his fellow gang members. The woops and cheers from the audience really showed how his more breakdancing like style amazed them. The supporting actress, Kathryn Moore preformed admirably as Anita. Her solos in songs like, “America” demonstrated just how good of a voice she has, making the songs sound like you were listening to a professional.
The ensemble, the Jets, did a great and hilarious job in the song, “Officer Krupke”. Action, played by Jack Gereski, brought the song along in a humorous way, signifying just how seriously they took the police officer.
This difficult play was presented excellently by South County, and they definitely deserved the standing ovation they received at the end.
There is still time to catch "West Side Story" at South County Secondary School. Performances will be held on May 11 and 12 in the school’s Dale S. Rumberger Auditorium. General admission is $10, and $9 for senior citizens and students. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m., so you may want to arrive a few minutes early.
Gillian Thomas is a student at Annandale High School