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MusicalFare brings authentic, intimate production of 'West Side Story' to stage

Kicking off its 30th anniversary season, MusicalFare will present “West Side Story,” Sept. 4-Oct. 6. One of the most beloved musicals of all time, “West Side Story” was inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and addresses young love amid the racially divided European Americans and Puerto Rican Americans on the streets of New York City.

“The topicality of it all certainly resonates at this point in time,” added Doug Weyand, MusicalFare’s marketing coordinator.

Directed by Chris Kelly and with cultural authenticity advisement by Victoria Perez from Raices Theatre Company—Western New York’s only theater company dedicated to works involving the Latino experience—the production has cast all Puerto Rican characters with Latino and Latino American actors.

“It was very important that we accurately represent the Latino community and be authentic in our casting,” said Weyand. “Victoria was involved throughout the entire production, beginning with the audition process.”

Enabling audiences to experience the show as if seeing it for the very first time, MusicalFare’s production will be reimagined for its intimate, 136-seat space.

“In gigantic productions, a lot of the immediacy can be lost in the distance from the audience to the stage,” said Weyand. “The furthest distance in our theater is 40 feet, so the scenes, music and dancing are all much more intense.”

Featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performance times are Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $47 for all performances.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Musicalfare.com.