West Side Story – Guthrie Theater

The cast of the Guthrie Theater’s production of West Side Story, based on a conception of Jerome Robbins with a book by Arthur Laurents. Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Joseph Haj. Scenic design by Christopher Acebo, costume design by Jen Caprio, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Elisheba Ittoop. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Leonard Bernstein would have been 100 this year. His daughter shared a beautiful memory about her father. He believed that if he “just wrote a good enough melody that maybe he could heal the world”. Maybe the world isn’t completely healed but the moment that I sat in the Wurtele Thrust Theater, the music filling the air, the audience mesmerized by song and dance, that energy filled my heart and that is healing. That moment we collectively all stood for a standing ovation at the end of an incredible show….that’s healing. A twinkle of what it’s like when we all stand together.

©T Charles Erickson

West Side Story is a modern day Romeo and Juliet. It’s interesting how we can come so far and yet at the same time not much changes. Set in 1957, I feel like I could be watching this story unfold in the streets today. A story of rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks in an ongoing feud over what it means to be American, their differences in belief breeding hatred. Tony a former member of the Jets falls in love with Maria, the sister of a member of the rival gang. Professing their love for each other causes a rumble to be planned and even though Tony has good intentions, chaos ensues.

Many productions of West Side Story model the film. I love that Guthrie Theater took it a step further, bringing it to 2018 and showing us the truth of now. The set is so powerful with the Statue of Liberty, our symbol of freedom and democracy, toppled over on the stage. Tony (Marc Koeck) and Maria (Mia Pinero) both making their Guthrie debuts couldn’t be more perfect. Their voices melt through you sending chills to your toes. ❤️

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©Tracy Blowers

As I always mention, don’t forget to make a night of it at Guthrie Theater. This time I decided to eat at the Level Five Café. The onion rings were delicious and it’s always such a treat to take in all the views and reflections that the windows provide. Don’t miss the speciality drinks that they offer for each show!

Photo Jun 26, 6 27 32 PM
©Tracy Blowers
Photo Jun 26, 6 25 09 PM
©Tracy Blowers
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©Tracy Blowers

Another wonderful thing to note! The Guthrie Theater, in partnership with Medtronic and Americares, used the Friday, June 15 invited dress rehearsal as a fundraiser for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. They raised $57,300!

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©T Charles Erickson

Jennifer Chavez Rubio, Senior Director, Global Engagement, Medtronic Philanthropy (left) receives a check for Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico from the Guthrie Theater’s Artistic Director, Joseph Haj (right). Tickets were sold for the invited dress rehearsal of the Guthrie’s summer musical West Side Story on Friday, June 15, and those funds in the amount of $57,300 will be dispersed through Americares.

West Side Story runs through August 26, 2018.

Get your tickets HERE!

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I'm a freelance content creator and photographer. My passion is telling stories through my photography and writing. Freelancing has allowed me to fulfill my dream of traveling alongside my freelancing husband and our rescue dog. We share our experiences on our blog offering inspiration for life and travel. We hope to stir your soul from our backyard in Minnesota to road trippin’ the US!

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