A note from Ron Iannone, Producer of Destination Producing:
Destination Producing announced that the classic hit, WEST SIDE STORY, which was licensed and planned for September has been postponed until late Fall or early Spring. He has said, “Because of the Coronavirus and the concern for the safety and health of the audience, actors, and crew it was best to present WEST SIDE STORY later.
I was pleased with the large turn-out of audiences for MAMMA MIA! Throughout the fall and winter we have received several calls asking about what show we were doing this year.
WHY WEST SIDE STORY?
As timeless as Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s 16th century tragedy of two star crossed lovers so is the 1957 musical version of the play, West Side Story, will most likely be considered as timeless in four hundred plus years for many of the same reasons and more.
Musical theatre is considered one of two art forms that are considered “American”. The other being jazz. Drama, Classical Music, Ballet, and Opera were around long before Alexander Hamilton and Company embarked on their great experiment.
In the 1940’s the American form of musical theatre began to find itself. With West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957, the art form reaped the benefits of the collective experience and efforts of the masters of this art form. The combined creative energies of one the dance world’s most groundbreaking artists, Jerome Robbins, the music master Leonard Bernstein’s, acclaimed playwright Arthur Laurents and up and coming lyricist Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story changed the face of musical theatre.
After the enormously positive response Destination Producing received from bringing Mamma Mia to Morgantown last season and the many times, we heard the question “What’s next?”
We began a discussion within our organization of how to serve the outpouring of support we received from the theater going community of the region. We found community to be quite diverse and include all generations. Our desire is providing not only cultural enrichment but educational enrichment. Our wish is to celebrate the American contribution to the performing arts. We sought a piece that was ripe for artistic exploration. West Side Story was the logical choice so we applied for and were granted the rights.