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by Michael Portantiere


    TONIGHT, TONIGHT

    A bold new production of West Side Story is being presented at John Jay College to mark the 50th anniversary of the immortal musical. Featuring a talented, multi-cultural cast and a Broadway-caliber orchestra, the production places the various members of the Sharks and Jets gangs in different generations spanning half a century in order to stress the point that violence born of hatred is unending. Here are some photos from the show, taken during the opening night performance on Tuesday, December 4. For further information, click here.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    "The Jet Song," featuring Dan Kwiatkowski (aloft) as Riff.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    "The Jets are in gear, our cylinders are clickin'!"


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    Riff prevails on his pal Tony (Adam Sansiveri) to join the Jets in setting up a rumble with the Sharks that will decide the victor of the gangs' turf war.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony has a presentiment: "Something's coming; I don't know what it is, but it is gonna be great."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The dance at the gym is the scene of the gangs' confrontation.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony meets Maria (Abby Lee), sister of the Sharks' leader, Bernardo -- and the two fall in love at first sight.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Riff and Bernardo (Buenaventura Rodriguez) plan a "war council" to set terms for the rumble .


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony is transported: "I've just met a girl named Maria, and suddenly that name will never be the same to me."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    "Tonight, tonight, it all began tonight" -- Tony and Maria sing of their rapture.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Bernardo's girlfriend, Anita (Heather Refvem, far right), and the other Shark girls debate the merits of living in "America" as compared to Puerto Rico.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Riff advises the Jets to play it "Cool."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony convinces the Jets and Sharks that their turf war can be decided by a one-on-one fistfight.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony meets Maria at the bridal shop where she works, and the lovers pledge themselves to each other: "Now we begin, now we start, one hand, one heart."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The Jets, the Sharks, Maria, Tony, and Anita all look forward to "Tonight," though for different reasons.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    When Tony attempts to stop the rumble altogether, things go awry and switchblades appear; Bernardo stabs Riff to death and then, in turn, Tony kills Bernardo.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Unaware of the tragedy that has occurred, Maria is euphoric ("I Feel Pretty").


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    After Chino has told Maria of the killings, Tony comes to her, and the lovers plan to run away.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The "Somewhere" ballet.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The Jets jokingly lament their juvenile delinquency in "Gee, Officer Krupke."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Tony and Maria spend a few precious hours together; then he leaves in order to get money for their escape.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Having overheard Maria talking with Tony, Anita berates her friend ("A Boy Like That"), but Maria is steadfast in her devotion ("I Have a Love").


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Anita goes to warn Tony that Chino is gunning for him, but she is brutally taunted by the Jets, so she instead blurts out the false information that Chino has killed Maria.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Chino shoots Tony, who dies in Maria's arms. "Hold my hand and we're halfway there, hold my hand and I'll take you there -- somehow, someday, somewhere."

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007 at 1:48 PM | Item Link


    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at michael@broadwaystars.com


    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.

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