West Side Story Hits a Feminine Note at SJHSThursday, March 15, 2012 By Imani Arthur, Staff Reporter
“West Side Story” is a romantic tragedy involving two feuding New York City gangs, the Puerto Rican Sharks led by Bernardo and the white working-class Jets led by Riff. Ethan Schlesser, the school’s Drama Club director, chose the play “West Side Story” because it is one of the greatest American musicals of all time. He said it is challenging to do a male-dominated play with an all female cast. Senior Nicolette Gordon said, “I’ve seen West Side Story before, but this would be interesting to see with an all girl cast.” The cast members for West Side Story were each chosen for the part they could best play. “West Side Story” is a play that is dramatic and powerful; students will work intensely on their acting and focus on dancing as well. The main characters are Maria (Kaysie Hernandez), Tony (Jordan Dinoia), Bernardo (Melanie Lewis), Anita (Krystal Maldonado), and Riff (Sierra Armstrong). “Personally I like the play so it should be interesting to see how it will turn out,” said Krystal Maldonado. Practices are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and occasionally Saturdays. At each practice students improve on their roles for the performances on April 26 and 27 at 7pm. When questioned about that play, Principal S. Joan Gallagher said, “I love it! The intelligence and creativity the students bring to our community and others with their energy is enjoyable to hear from the Little Theater because they each have great talents.” This is an exciting play that students, parents, and friends look forward to seeing due to the challenges of females portraying predominately male roles. Students at St. Joseph are talking nonstop about the school’s play and can’t wait until the performances. “When Anita sings ‘I like to be in America,’ I like to sing ‘I like to be in Saint Joseph High School,’” said S. Joan.