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"West Side Story” musical re-imagined? Bay Area company sticks to tradition.

Archive post. July 2015 in Santa Rosa, CA — “Productions of West Side Story” re-imagined over the years in several different ways but director John DeGaetano and North Bay Stage Company followed their plan with sticking to tradition. The production was staged at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts (now known as Luther Burbank Center for the Arts).

West Side Story Re-imagined... but traditional wins out. “It’s a classic retelling,”

 NBSC’s Artistic Director John DeGaetano. North Bay Stage Company’s production of the modern musical take on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” opened July 17th 2015. The musical hasn't been performed in the SF North Bay area for more than six years. The production featured more than 30 Bay Area actors, backed by a live orchestra; along with what DeGaetano calls “stunning” dance numbers.

Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Additionally, the musical is based on a dance-conception by Jerome Robbins. Hailed by critics as one of the major achievements in mid-century theatrical history, the musical is set in New York City in the 1950s, deals with rival gangs: the Jets and the Sharks. Tony and Maria, with ties to opposite sides of the conflict, fall in love and must deal with the fallout from their family and friends.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre.

“Therefore it’s timely, because it deals with bigotry and bias and some of the same things that we experience today,” DeGaetano said. “What happens when you let bias, rage and these sort of issues get out of control? The production is for the most part, family-friendly, and we hope it will spark some conversation.” Bernstein's score for the musical includes "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere", "Tonight", "Jet Song", "I Feel Pretty", "and One Hand, One Heart" among others.

The 2015 productions included: Witness for the Prosecution – May 1st -17th, Les Miserables – One performance only June 30th, and West Side Story in July of 2015.

North Bay Stage Company, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization is an independent resident theatre company of the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization focused on giving actors, singers and dancers along with technical crew; musicians and upcoming artists may have a chance to learn, and as a result showcase their own talents. Most importantly, create an assortment of productions designed to encourage growth in theater arts. Note: The company closed its doors after the loss of their venue and equipment in the 2017 Northern California fires.

As Director, Artistic Director and Consultant, John has been involved in musical theatre most of his life. He has written several full-length plays and a short selection series of Sherlock Holmes 10 Minute Plays – designed primarily for students to build experience in performance skills. View on books Amazon.com or Watch Video Trailer.




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