Players put on FOUR-STAR show before packed house of 800
BY GEORGE J. DACRE
More than 200 players in the cast, company, pit, crew and production staff put the Leonard Bernstein-Steven Sondheim, Arthur Laurents classic together in a remarkable High School performance that resulted in a standing ovation Friday night. With fantastically talented youngsters, great direction and outstanding choreography this show moved smartly along to the orchestration of the great West Side Story score led by Jamie Santillo and conductor John Bjorkman and directed by Sol Bloch.
Justin Boccitto got the most out of the spirited company of dancers in this most complex story of gangs and love on the West Side of New York. Great performances by Kieran Murphy as Tony, Jennifer Brooks as his love Maria, Sarah Hillebrand as Anita, Jonathan Adamow as Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, Daniel Romano as Riff, leader of the Jets, Von Kohut as Lt. Shrank and Joseph Cobb as Officer Krupke led the cast and company in this fast paced musical that required many set changes (and the sets were inspired) that were smoothly accomplished by the stage crew led by Technical Director Randell Bostwick.
Brooks and Murphy teamed beautifully together both with strong voices and their love story was told amidst the turbulence of the street gang rumbles that resulted in the deaths of Bernardo and Riff and ultimately Tony. Sarah Hillebrand had the show-stopper doing the Rita Moreno famous number America.Joseph Fortunato scored doing Officer Krupke. West Side Story is a great book, a tremendous challenge and the North Rockland High School Players met it head on. Producer and assistant choreographer was Jennifer Bankey, Lighting and Scenic Designer James S. Huppert. Drama Advisor and Associate Producer Joan Bankey, student directors Kimberly Kenny, Catherine Mizzi and Kristen Silverman and student producer Sean Fahy all worked together with the entire North Rockland High School Players in this vehicle which I rate Four Stars out of Four!!!!