gzintrview1.jpg

Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Play It Cool: Lyric Opera Prepares For Big Production of WEST SIDE STORY

Play It Cool: Lyric Opera Prepares For Big Production of WEST SIDE STORY

WDCB’s Gary Zidek visits a recent rehearsal for Lyric Opera’s spring musical production of WEST SIDE STORY.

LISTEN

“When you approach West Side Story you have to start off by just honoring the material. It’s so well-conceived, both the music and choreography is so rooted in story-telling. Honor what was given to us by these two giants.” - Eric Sean Fogel, associate director of Lyric’s WEST SIDE STORY, talking about how you approach a new production of a classic.

Jets and Sharks rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

Jets and Sharks rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

Always a crowd-pleaser, WEST SIDE STORY is one of the most popular musicals of all-time. A legendary creative team, including choreographer & director Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, brought the Romeo-and-Juliet inspired musical to life in 1957.

Lyric Opera is presenting a big production of WEST SIDE STORY that opens May 3.

Cast members rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

Cast members rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

Cast members rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

Cast members rehearsing Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of WEST SIDE STORY

“The range it has, and how you go from dancing classical ballet to jazz to mambo, and everything in between. It’s very theatrical as well, so there’s Jerome Robbins’ own language in there.” - Julio Monge, choreographer for Lyric’s production, talking about why Jerome Robbins’ original choreography still resonates with audiences.

Choreographer Julio Monge, Conductor James Lowe and Associate Director Eric Sean Fogel

Choreographer Julio Monge, Conductor James Lowe and Associate Director Eric Sean Fogel

The production’s two leads, Corey Cott (who plays Tony) and Mikaela Bennett (who plays Maria), are both well aware of WEST SIDE STORY’s place in music theater history. But both performers come to this project with fresh perspectives.

Corey Cott and Mikaela Bennett near a rehearsal room at Lyric Operahouse

Corey Cott and Mikaela Bennett near a rehearsal room at Lyric Operahouse

There’s no question many of the themes depicted in WEST SIDE STORY were groundbreaking in 1957, many of the cast members marveled at how relevant those ideas still are today. Amanda Castro, who is playing the role of Anita, hopes this production sparks some conversations.

Manuel Stark Santos (plays Bernardo) and Amanda Castro (plays Anita)   right before rehearsal.

Manuel Stark Santos (plays Bernardo) and Amanda Castro (plays Anita) right before rehearsal.

Lyric Opera’s production of WEST SIDE STORY opens Friday May 3 and closes Sunday June 2. You can find more information at lyricopera.org

20190430_133258.jpg
No Strings, The House Theatre of Chicago Reimagines PINOCCHIO

No Strings, The House Theatre of Chicago Reimagines PINOCCHIO

Film Review: STOCKHOLM

Film Review: STOCKHOLM