West Side Story Jets into Regent’s Globe

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It hardly seems 6 months since the auditions for the great American musical West Side Story, one of the classics of the genre, due for performance on the 5th-7th June at 6.30 p.m. in the Globe Theatre of the Regent’s School.

The director, Mr Lewis, has assembled a hugely talented cast of 50 students to play these individualized characters and uniquely in productions at the Regent’s School each actor has a responsibility to understudy another actor.

The West Side Story cast.The West Side Story cast.

West Side Story can be truly described as an actor’s musical: it is not enough to sing, you have to act convincingly as well. Like all great musicals, the songs advance the action and nurture the audience’s understanding of the characters.

The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a white working-class group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Leonard Bernstein’s score, and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics for the musical have become extremely popular; including Something’s Coming, Maria, America, Somewhere, Tonight, Jet Song, I Feel Pretty, A Boy Like That and One Hand, One Heart.

Bernardo challenges Riff -in rehearsal.Bernardo challenges Riff -in rehearsal.

The preview excerpt which formed part of the Drama Assembly on Tuesday 15th May stunned the audience into awed silence as they witnessed the tragedy of Maria and Tony, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s timeless doomed love affair.

The Music Department has been working equally as hard in support of this challenging event with an orchestra of 25 players practising hard to master Bernstein’s demanding score.

Ms Helen Burden and Mr Pete Burden have created another stunning design to, once again, transform the epic space that is the Globe Theatre.

The Jets and Sharks hang loose.The Jets and Sharks hang loose.

The cast has also had to master their dance skills as well as polish their Brooklyn accents. This ground-breaking production has set everyone’s expectations running high and full-houses are expected for the performances, the profits of which will benefit three of our school’s community partners: Abundant Life, the Camillian Centre and Mercy Centre, Rayong.

Tickets are 100 baht for students and 150 baht for adults. They can be reserved by email: [email protected] or Mob: 0885204807.