2014-04-10 / Viewpoint

West Side Story at the Whiting

By Carrie RaCosta
810-452-2645 • cracosta@mihomepaper.com


The cast of West Side Story. The cast of West Side Story. FLINT — West Side Story is coming to The Whiting April 18-19, and there are still a few tickets left for the public to witness the stage production of what is praised as one of the premier love stories of all time.

It has been more than 50 years since it endeared forever fans by way of Broadway, with its’ magnetic pull on audiences has not abated for a minute.

A few years after West Side Story debuted, The Whiting was built and has been a much beloved community staple since 1967. It is with equal love and appreciation for cultural events, performing arts of the highest caliber they can obtain, and the support of the community, that makes this play one of the gems the staff feels thrilled to present.

Wendi Fournier and Anne Dailey Meyer, Whiting staff, feel incredibly honored to have the much celebrated cast on their way to Flint, and feel very excited to open the doors to ticket holders to see a special play with an enduring legacy. A play with richness, energy and depth matches the emotional power of what The Whiting represents to the community and to those who eagerly work hard to promote the shows and garner theater companies to perform on their stage.

According to Fournier, “The Whiting is a place where you can discover all sentiments. It is a place where families come together to share a special occasion, where youth discover wonder as the magic of live theater unfolds before their very eyes, and where we see community built as the experience shared by those in our theater provides a sense of belonging. Live performing arts offer us an escape from our everyday affairs and contribute to our quality of life. We are so fortunate to reside in a city that values live stage performances.and values The Whiting.”

The play has been kept true to its authentic plot, but changes have been made according to Associate Director Davd Saint. “The plan was to remove much of the coy musical comedy jargon of the ‘50s,” he said.

West Side Story, when it appeared on Broadway did have elements of the time in which it was written, but it also was revolutionary in the regards to how it was presented in contrast to musicals before it became one of the most well-known and celebrated musicals. In shook the stage up, in regards to content and movement.

It was heavy on dance, making it rather accessible for those outside the realm of the standard theater buff crowd. It featured various topics that were either obsolete from plays or not fully integrated at the time. It was neither tragic nor comedic. It wasn’t pure, but it wasn’t salacious. It was an all-encompassing depiction of human emotion and the experiences of a wide variety of encounters most notably experienced by and felt deeply by youth living an urban experience across America.

The Whiting is hoping the stellar cast and bold topics speak just as loudly to Flint youth and adults. They want the show which is recommended for those 13 and over to have a pull and connection with the senses and hearts of those attending in the Flint community, who so generously support The Whiting’s efforts to bring the best of the best to the city.

In April alone they are offering several shows that stand out and tickets are swiftly escaping. As of press date, very few remain for those highly anticipated programs and staff encourage those who are highly interested to act promptly in garnering a seat or two.

On April 22, Lois Lowry’s intense and revered children’s novel for any person, or any age; The Giver, will be performed as a solo sixty minute presentation, with interactive programs and post show discussions on themes of ethics, social constructs, and individuality. Also, arriving in April are the Live SNL Alumni, featuring Jon Lovitz, Tim Meadows, and many of their cast mates from primarily the 90s era of the show. For tickets visit TheWhiting.com or call 810-237-7333.

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