West Side Story

August 2, 3, 4, 5, 2007
(Rain date: 1186430400)

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8:00pm.

Location: Breese Northside Park, 1000 North Main Street, Breese, IL 62230


Based on Conception of Jerome Robbins

Book by Arthur Laurents

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

* Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Fifty years ago, “West Side Story,” a modern version of “Romeo and Juliet” on the streets of New York City’s westside premiered on Broadway, with Leonard Bernstein’s breathtaking music, a young Stephen Sondheim’s exquisite lyrics, Jerome Robbins’ artistic and athletic choreography, and a powerful book by Arthur Laurents. Today, its story of racial intolerance still resonates. “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Maria,” “Something’s Coming,” “One Hand, One Heart,” and “America” remain in the pantheon of great show tunes.

PLOT SYNOPSIS of WEST SIDE STORY
Act One
In the opening, a danced Prologue, two rival teenage gangs, the Jets (Americans) and the Sharks (Puerto Ricans) enact their conflict over who will control the neighborhood. Accented by police whistles and taunting phrases, the Prologue establishes the fierce rivalry between the two groups.
Following a brief exchange with the ineffective policeman, Lt. Schrank and Officer Krupke, Riff, the leader of the Jets, devises a plan to gain control of the street (When You’re A Jet”). The members of the gang boast of their strength, restate their bond to one another and declare their intention to protect their turf.
Riff has a harder time getting his best friend Tony to re-join the gang. Riff convinces Tony to join the Jets at the neighborhood dance where the Riff’s plan will be put into motion. Tony agrees out of a sense of loyalty to Riff, but expresses his unhappiness with his current life. He feels himself growing away from the gang and envisions a different and better future (“Something’s Coming”).
Maria, the sister of the Shark leader, Bernardo, has only been in America a short time. She works with Anita, Bernardo’s girl friend, in the bridal shop. Anita is making Maria a dress to wear to the neighborhood dance. Maria sees this dance as the official beginning of her life in this country. Like Tony, she is full of hope. Bernardo arrives with Chino, a quiet, intense member of the Sharks. Maria’s family has selected Chino to be her future husband.

A social worker, Gladhand, introduces the rival gang members and their girls; they dance sociably for about two minutes. Then a challenge dance erupts. Tony and Maria, however, suddenly see one another. In a moment of romantic suspension, they dance together, oblivious of the tension around them. They fall in love. The romantic idyll is interrupted when Bernardo roughly pulls Maria from Tony’s arms. Maria is sent home, as Riff and Bernardo arrange a War Council at the drugstore.

Unaware of the plan between the two leaders, an ecstatic Tony sings “Maria.” As he sings, Maria appears on a fire escape above him. They profess their love for each other (“Tonight”).

Anita and her friends are gathered on a city rooftop, where they express conflicting views about their lives in “America.”

At the Drugstore, the proprietor, Doc, tries to convince the Jets not to have a rumble (an all-out fight) with the Sharks. The gang expresses their pent-up tension in “Cool.” Ignoring Doc, Riff and Bernardo set up the rumble for the next day and agree on weapons. Tony suggests a less dangerous fist fight. After the others leave, Tony dismisses Doc’s fear with his conviction nothing can go wrong because he is love with Maria.

The next day, Maria learns about the rumble from Anita at the Bridal Shop. When Tony arrives, Anita leaves. Maria begs Tony to stop the rumble and he promises her he will. They enact a mock marriage ceremony (“One Hand, One Heart”) swearing that “even death can’t part us now.”

Tony tries to stop the rumble in progress under a highway. In the midst of insults, pushing, and shoving, Bernardo stabs Riff. In blind fury, Tony stabs Bernardo. The sirens scream; everyone runs except Tony, who stands transfixed. Anybodys, a tomboy whose dream is to become a Jet, has followed the gang, and prods Tony to escape, just in time. The curtain comes down on a stage which is empty except for the bodies of Riff and Bernardo.

Act Two

Unaware of the tragedy under the highway, Maria sings to her girl friends about how beautiful she feels (“I Feel Pretty”). She speaks of marriage, and her friends assume she is thinking about Chino. Chino enters with the news Tony has killed Bernardo. Left alone, Maria is praying; Tony enters through the window. He explains why he killed Bernardo in a moment of anger over Riff’s death. Maria forgives him, and they declare their determination to be together. Shark and Jet couples dance together in a dream-like, peaceful, sunlit world – the “Somewhere” where Maria and Tony are allowed to love one another. At the end of the dream, Tony and Maria are in her bed, in each other’s arms.

In an alley, the bumbling Office Krupke is questioning the Jets about the murders. The gang ridicules him as they sing “Officer Krupke,” a put-down of the social workers, cops, psychiatrists, and judges who fail to understand what motivates their behavior.

Anita arrives at Maria’s apartment. Tony escapes through the window, telling Maria to meet him at the drugstore so they can run away together. Anita realizes Tony has been with Maria and turns on Maria in fury for making love to the boy who killed her brother (“A Boy Like That”). However, when Maria explains (“I Have a Love”), Anita realizes Maria loves Tony as much as she loved Bernardo. She warns Maria Chino has a gun and is planning to kill Tony. When Shrank arrives to question Maria, Anita agrees to go to the drugstore to tell Tony to wait for her.

Anita is prevented from reaching Tony by the ethnic prejudice of the Jets. The gang’s verbal taunting of Anita gets physical and is turning into rape when she is saved by Doc. In her fury and humiliation, Anita lies and tells Tony’s buddies Chino has killed Maria.

Doc tells Tony, who is hiding in his cellar, Maria and his dreams for the future are dead because she is dead. Tony runs out to find Chino. On the street, Tony sees Maria. Chino appears and kills Tony. As Maria kneels over Tony’s body, the Jets and Sharks enter. Maria takes Chino’s gun, but is unable to bring herself to fire it. The cycle of violence ends with her.

Gradually, members of both gangs assemble on either side of Tony’s body. Maria kisses him gently. The Jets and Sharks form a procession and together they carry Tony offstage while the adults stand by, still helpless. The lights fade.

Cast of 2007 CCS Production of West Side Story

The JETS
Riff, their leader — Robert Foote
Tony, his friend — Michael Detmer
Action – Deane Buckingham
A-Rab – Tim Orr
Baby John – Alex Henrichs
Snowboy – Kris Becker
Big Deal – Jason Koonce
Diesel – Nick Rivera

Their Girls
Graziella ? Crystal Albers (Riff’s girlfriend)
Velma ? Ashley Biermann (A-Rab’s girlfriend)
Clarice – Mary Helen Otrembiak
Pauline – Jocelyn Moylan
Anybodys – Michelle Streetman

The SHARKS
Bernardo, their leader – Hunter Hempen
Maria, his sister – Liz Albers
Anita, his girl – Amanda Castillo
Chino, his friend – Michael Klein
Pepe – Nick Menietti
Indio – Josh McDonald
Luis – Andrew Goetz
Juano – Andrew Hustedde
Toro – Chris Streetman
Anxious – Michael Klein

Their Girls
Rosalia – Janelle Pfeifer
Consuela – Stephanie Masching
Teresita – Beth Henrichs
Francesca – Nora Buckingham
Estella – Sarah Kuhl
Margarita – Bateshia Boeker

The Adults
Doc – Rob Otrembiak
Lt. Schrank – Bob Haag
Officer Krupke – Greg Streetman
Glad Hand – Tim Venhaus

Crew of 2007 CCS Production of West Side Story

Production Staff

Director Lynn Venhaus
Music Director Jenny Mondt
Asst. Music Director Eric Buscher
Choreographer Donna Goetz
Production Manager Pat Kreher
Creative Consultant (unofficial
Assistant Director) 
Michael Detmer

Co-Tech Advisors Greg Kuper and Paul Klostermann
Tech Assistance Greg Streetman
Production Assistant Debbie Stratmann
Stage Manager Lauren Fuehne

Asst. Stage Managers Jocelyn Moylan and Mary Helen Otrembiak

Lighting Design Rachel Luebbers

Sound and Lights –  Paul Klostermann, Jill Klostermann,       Adam Broeckling, Charlie Venhaus, Greg Streetman, Blake Welge

Stage Crew Chief Amber Huelskamp

Stage Crew  – David Vaughan, Jonathan Lancey, Sarah Wardein, Justin Kruep

Costumes – Pat and Ali Ofstedal, Lynn Venhaus,Donna Goetz

Scenic Design – Lynn Venhaus, Michael Detmer, Jason Koonce, Michael Klein, Patrick Kreher

Set Construction/Painting – Patrick Kreher, Greg Kuper, Michael Detmer, Alicia Hustedde, Lauren Endres, Addison Hustedde, Michael Klein, Chris Streetman, Michelle Streetman, Rob Otrembiak, Mary Helen Otrembiak, Robert Foote, Hunter Hempen, Jason Koonce, Sarah Kuhl, Jocelyn Moylan, Alex Henrichs, Batiesha Boeker, Andrew Goetz, Crystal Albers

Tech Set-Up – Dustin McSparin, Lori Wahl, Hunter Hempen, Robert Foote, Tim Orr, Pat Kreher, Pam Kreher, Greg Streetman, Jason Koonce, Josh MacDonald, Chris Streetman, Michelle Streetman, Andrew Goetz, Michael Detmer, Jonathan Lancey, Amber Huelskamp, Lauren Fuehne, David Vaughan

Ushers/Concessions –  Robert Albers, Dale Hempen, Joshua Albers, cast of Oliver!

Hair and Makeup –  Lauren Fuehne, Amber Huelskamp, Sarah Wardein

Pit Band

Conductor – Jenny Mondt

Accompanist – Eric Buscher

Ty Campbell, Charlie Cox, Jillian Crump, Cody Frazier, Carolyn Harvey, Jason Long, Jeff Mondt, Amanda Niedzwiecki, Alex Normansell, Brett Thole, Zach Weigmann, Doug Wilson

Special Thanks

CC Showcase Board of Directors • City of Breese Park Board • Central Community High School • Mater Dei Catholic High School • Vicky Voytas • Becky Long • Jason Long •  Robert Schmidt Costumes • Center Stage • Centralia Cultural Society • Dale Detmer • John and Nancy Huelsmann  •  Sara Huelsmann • Jo Rivera, our Spanglish coach • Mark Tullis, for dialect work • Marv Eversgerd •  Monroe Actors Stage Company • Pat Ofstedal for audition help • Production teams of ‘Bve Bve Birdie” and “Oliver!


Director: Lynn Venhaus

<- Back to 2007-2008 Season