Waukon High School to present “West Side Story” as this year’s musical production; Timeless classic to hit the stage April 16-18

The Waukon High School Musical Theatre Department will present “West Side Story” Friday, April 16 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. and a Sunday Matinee April 18 at 1 p.m. The production is being brought to the Waukon High School auditorium stage under the guidance of Director Sarah J. Bieber, Assistant Director Louise Wild and Choreographer Adam Hooten.

The musical comes to life in silence, and the tension between the Jets and the Sharks comes alive at the snap of a finger. This snapping rhythm sets the tones of the mayhem beginning to take place under the foggy, hot and humid summer sky in Puerto-Rican New York.

The playwright, Arthur Laurents, wrote a story of two hostile teenage gangs fighting for leadership among the corners, bridges and buildings of the West Side. Waukon High School’s Ryan VanderVelden, as “Bernardo”, and Ethan Hooten, as “Riff”, star as leaders of the Sharks and the Jets street gangs.

VanderVelden is supported by Sharks members Isaac Ericson, Annie Ellingson, Molly Peake, Sarah Stock, Reagan Lubahn and Eireann Goettel, while Hooten is supported by Jet members Abby Wiemerslage, Chase Boydston, Philip Clocksin, Gabe Goettel, Annika Headington, Jonathan Marti, Alaina Gebel and Lucia Aldrich. Composer Leonard Bernstein composed music to capture the harsh realities of life among the New York City streets.

This musical tells the story of a modern day Romeo and Juliet. Lead character and Jet member Tony, played by Caleb Perkins, sees Maria, played by Madelyn Helgerson, at a school dance. They fall in love, but their situation is complicated when Tony learns Maria is his rival Bernardo’s sister.

Annita, played by Violet Holthaus, Bernardo’s strong-willed Puerto Rican girlfriend and sister-figure to Maria, tries to end Tony and Maria’s relationship before it starts controversy between the Sharks and the Jets. Violet is supported by a tribe of feisty young Puerto Rican ladies played by Sofia Acosta, Olivia Dougherty, and Keira Miller. Local Detective Krupke, played by Elliot Kooiker, and local store owner Doc, played by Jackie Maruna, try to stop the controversy and the fighting among the Sharks and the Jets before someone gets hurt.

Musical tickets are now on sale. Due to limited seating, it is strongly encouraged that tickets are purchased in advance and online at www.waukonmusical.ludus.com. Online ticket purchasers can see the limited seating chart and choose their own seat(s) at the address above.

Those who need to order tickets by phone may call 563-568-7997. Those ordering by phone should leave a message and call back if they don’t receive a confirmation.

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