Saline High's 'West Side Story' offered great performances, despite technical glitches
This is part of an ongoing series of theater reviews of local high school productions, written by high school students, appearing on AnnArbor.com. This week, Huron High School's Ashley Weigel (see bio at end of story) reviews Saline High School's production of "West Side Story," which ran this past weekend.
Singing, drama, and dancing gangs. What more could you want in a show?
Saline High School’s production of "West Side Story" ran from Friday, February 25 through Sunday, February 27. The show is a spinoff of William Shakespeare’s tragedy "Romeo and Juliet." Yet instead of the Capulets and Montagues, there are two gangs who rule the streets on the east side of New York City: the Jets and the Sharks.
One night at a school dance, a member of the Jets, Tony, meets Maria. She is the sister of the leader of the Sharks. They fall in love instantly, which creates even more tension between the Jets and Sharks. The two gangs agree to fight for control of the streets once and for all.
The gangs agree to meet for a rumble the next night, and the fight takes a deadly turn. Riff, the leader of the Jets, is killed by the leader of the Sharks, Bernardo. In anger, Tony avenges Riff’s murder by killing Bernardo. The rest of the show is made up of plot twists, romance, and forgiveness.
This production was amazing. All of the actors were well cast. The leads were very talented actors and had great singing voices, especially Isabella Procassini, whose beautiful voice brought Maria to life on stage. Also, I find it hard to believe that this was Colton Boyd’s (Tony) first production in many years. His acting and singing were incredible, and sounded like a seasoned performer.
While the acting and singing were fantastic, the show had a couple technical difficulties during the Friday night performance. There were two blackouts that were clearly not supposed to last as long as they did, creating an awkward silence in the theater. The microphones weren’t working for most of the first act, making it hard to hear the actors over the orchestra. Fortunately, they had the problem fixed after intermission for the second act.
Despite the audio issues, the show was brilliant. The choreography was great, and the actors were all in sync. The music was also very well done, the orchestra should be proud of their performance. The set was very intricate and detailed; it really took the audience to the backstreets of New York.
Overall, the performance was entertaining and enjoyable. It was definitely a great way to spend time on a snowy weekend.
Ashley Weigel is a senior at Huron High School who plays softball, writes for The Emery, and is involved in Huron Players. She's hoping to major in journalism next year at Michigan State.
The aim of AnnArbor.com's student-review program is to recognize, and provide more coverage for, the accomplished theatrical work that's happening in our schools while also providing opportunities for student writers with an interest in arts criticism. To encourage objectivity, our student writers will always review shows from schools other than their own. To learn more about the student-review program, contact Jenn McKee at email@example.com or 734-623-2546.