West Side Story OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    March 4, 2016
    Closing:
    March 6, 2016

    Theater: Knockdown Center / 52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY, 11378

    Synopsis: 

    As a celebration of Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary season, Weill Music Institute (WMI) presents The Somewhere Project, an exploration of "West Side Story" that spans across all five boroughs of New York City. This new vision for the timeless Broadway classic with music by Leonard Bernstein immerses audiences in a community celebration that’s equal parts exhibition, theater, and special event. The performances take place at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, and features professional artists in lead roles—including Skylar Astin as Tony, Morgan Hernandez as Maria, and Bianca Marroquín as Anita—with students and community members from around the city joining them on stage. Marin Alsop, a former protégée of Bernstein’s, conducts and Amanda Dehnert, a nationally renowned theater director, leads this visionary new production.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF West Side Story

    Carnegie Hall’s ‘West Side Story’ at the Knockdown Center

    Charles Isherwood

    March 6, 2016: The headlong energy of youth was on ample — no, make that spectacular — display over the weekend in Maspeth, Queens, at the Knockdown Center, a former factory where a wonderfully energized, energizing production of “West Side Story” was presented for just three performances, under the auspices of Carnegie Hall and the Weill Music Institute. A culmination of the Somewhere Project, a citywide exploration of that classic 1957 musical that began in January, the production mixed professional actors with 15 high-school-aged apprentices in the cast, supplemented by a whopping chorus of 200 high school singers from 26 schools representing all five boroughs. Conducting the lush 40-piece orchestra was the eminent Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who was once a protégée of Leonard Bernstein, the composer of “West Side Story,” of course.

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