24 hours 7 day - Potoula Anagnostakos

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24 hours 7 day - Potoula Anagnostakos
PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE HERALD - AUGUST 13 - 19, 2014
Sharks And Jets Take Plainview Stage
One of musical theater’s most
beloved classics is back on stage in a
local production, as the Cultural Arts
Playhouse in Plainview presents “West
Side Story,” score by Leonard Bernstein
and Stephen Sondheim. Loosely based
on Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and
Juliet,” the story is centered on Tony,
of the Jets, and Maria, of the Sharks. In
a time of hate and prejudice, they fall
in love with one another despite their
different ethnic backgrounds.
“The show’s main themes center
around love at first sight and prejudice
and hatred,” said Bruce Grossman, the
owner of Cultural Arts Playhouse. “It
should teach to judge people by the content of their heart and not their looks.”
The show’s powerhouse score
and juggernaut choreography have
left audiences spellbound since its
Broadway debut in 1957.
“People should see this production
because the message is so beautiful.
It’s a classic,” said Eliana Lichtman,
the production’s choreographer. “The
music is timeless and I think it’s one
you’ll enjoy if it’s the first time you’ve
seen it or the fiftieth.”
To convey the musical’s powerful
messages and to tell this timeless
story, it’s important to have a strong
cast.
“My cast is great,” gushes Lichtman.
“The leads are all extremely talented. I
think because it was cast appropriate
and usually shows are cast a little older
(and the actors play younger) some of the
performers don’t fully understand the
material yet. Falling completely in love
where you would be willing to betray your
family is a huge emotional trip. I don’t
think a regular 19-year-old has experienced that yet, but by show time that’ll
change. The ensemble is exceptional.
Everyone is a true triple threat performer.”
Mikey Marmann, a member of the
cast, discussed his experience on
working on this show.
“One of my favorite parts about doing shows at Cultural Arts Playhouse
is that I constantly get to share the
stage with some of my closest friends,
which is always a really great experience,” said Marmann. “We have an
awesome cast for this show, and even
though it’s quite large since the roles
are double casted, we’ve become
almost like a family. The very talented
Jonathan Heller plays Tony opposite
Erin Bonura and Gina Morgigno.
They will both break your heart as
Maria. Additionally, Veronica Fox and
her understudy Emily Tenenbaum,
will both blow you away as Anita.
Everyone in this cast is so talented,
there truly is no weak link, with the
exception of my dancing that is.”
In the production, Marmann plays
A-Rab, who is one of the younger
members of the Jets. The character,
according to the script, is “an explosive little ferret who enjoys everything
and understands the seriousness of
nothing.” In addition to playing this
goofball of a character, he is also the
understudy for the male lead Tony,
who is much more on the serious side
than spunky A-Rab.
Along with these dynamic characters, there is a stunning musical
score to accompany them, which is
Marmann’s favorite part of the show.
“The score, with music by Leonard
Bernstein and lyrics by Steven
Sondheim, is a true classic, with each
song beautifully capturing the mood
of each moment and character,”
Marmann said. “One of the best
parts about being in this show is the
opportunity to perform these songs,
including some of my favorites,
‘Something’s Coming’ and ‘Gee,
Officer Krupke.’”
The show runs until Aug. 17, sohead
over to Cultural Arts Playhouse on
Old Country Road in Plainview. Don’t
miss out on this timeless tale of starcrossed lovers. The Romeo and Juliet
of the Upper West Side are waiting for
you, “Tonight, Tonight!”
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BY POTOULA ANAGNOSTAKOS
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