West Side Story comes to York

York’s Vanier College Productions (VCP) will present the powerful and lyrical drama West Side Story, March 4 to 20, in the Vanier Studio Theatre, room 258 of Vanier College.

Leonard Bernstein’s copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is marked with his annotation “An out and out plea for racial tolerance” at the top of the first page, said a news release about VCP’s latest production. There have been many versions of the story of Romeo and Juliet through the ages – even Shakespeare’s was not the first. Unfortunately, cultural clashes always seem to be relevant. But this 1957 musical version captured the beautiful and painful story in a new and unique style, changing the face of musical theatre.

West Side Story is based on a conception of Jerome Robbins and book by Arthur Laurents. The music is by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This VCP production is directed by Fred Thury, who has been with VCP since the beginning, and assisted by Laurel Green, with musical direction by Brian Goldenberg, a fourth-year York music major who has assembled an experienced group of musicians to provide the live musical accompaniment.

Left: Fred Thury

Tickets are $12 general and $10 students/seniors. To order tickets, call ext. 40023. Performances will be held  at 8pm on March 4-6, March 10-13 and March 17 – 20 and at 2pm on March 7 & 14.

VCP offers a full season of theatrical, performance and design opportunities. Over 30 years ago, it grew out of a need for performers, actors, singers, dancers, designers, playwrights and directors who aren’t necessarily studying in the theatre/music/dance/art design/creative writing programs but who wish to continue to ply their craft. Closely tied to Vanier’s foundations courses and York’s academic roster, VCP is open to alumni, friends and professionals.

For additional information about Vanier College Productions, see the April 3, 2002, York University Gazette.