West Side Story – A tale of love and honour
It’s a tale of love and honour – perhaps the oldest of those still told. But as presented by the Conservatorium’s Musical theatre department, it’s the teenage rival gangs on the grisly streets of New York that gives it a jazzy and pulsing retelling.
West Side Story sees star crossed lovers Tony and Maria of two households alike in dignity (and of different ethnicities) fall in love to the backdrop of booming chorus numbers and dance sequences that shred the stage.
Elliot Baker flips between two principle roles, Tony and Chino, opposing characters from both the Jets and Sharks. A huge challenge for any actor, Elliot taps into the integrity of the men to set them apart.
“My favourite is Tony and his spirit. He begins the show searching for something and finds that something in Maria. He won’t let anything get in the way and keeps fighting for it till the very end,”
Oliver Lacey plays Riff, the cheeky and charismatic leader of the Jets and Tony’s best friend. As the character evolves, Riff has the opportunity to become incredibly serious, commanding the stage in the song and dance number, Cool.
“My favourite thing is how well connected every aspect is. Each beat and sound in the music has a corresponding piece of choreography that means something even deeper. It really helps build character for us actors but also adds another level of story telling for the audience!”
Thanks to the colossal efforts of costume designer Gayle McGregor, the retro authenticity and fierce enmity comes alive. A huge orchestra elevates the impact of the chorus, and the vast sets transport the audience out into the streets of another era.
The sounds of Sondheim’s soaring harmonies have filled the Conservatorium Theatre and the halls of the backstage for days now. These con students have been working tirelessly in a joyous production environment, inspired by the professionalism of every member of the creative team, putting together a high calibre show that only a team of young, gifted enthusiasts could present.
There will be ten performances at the Conservatorium Theatre from Thursday July 27th – August 5th 2017. Student tickets are priced at $15 and they are selling out fast!