(LAKEWOOD, NJ) -- The Howell PAL Theater Company presents their 2023 production, West Side Story, at the Strand Center for the Arts in Lakewood on Friday, June 30th and Saturday, July 1st. From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. The book and score are written by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein widely regarded as one of the best ever written, with original direction and choreography by the world-renowned Jerome Robbins.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a reimagined love story of a Jet setting boy named Tony, played by Sam Cusson of Middletown, falling in love with a Puerto Rican girl named Maria, played by Maria Guerrero of Little Silver. Their forbidden love with consequences plays out against the backdrop of New York City. Riff, played by Jay Lazen of Millstone, is Tony’s best friend and the feisty leader of the Jets, while Danny Arce of East Brunswick appears as Bernardo, the proud leader of the Sharks. Nora Collard of Rumson plays Anita, the fiery, bold, and intelligent girlfriend of Bernardo and mentor to Maria.
Forty incredibly talented actors from all over New Jersey are featured in the cast, ranging in age from 12 to 75 years old, who sing and dance as Jets and Sharks, struggling to survive in a world of turmoil and uncertainty. A special addition to the cast is featured guest actor Gary Powell of Toms River, appearing as Doc. He has performed on Broadway in the companies of Sunday in the Park with George and The Magic Show.
Timeless songs such as Tonight, Maria, America, and Somewhere, composed by Leonard Bernstein, together with the haunting and deeply moving story, make this a classic masterpiece. Howell PAL Theater Company’s production is under the direction of Gillian Bryck and choreographed by Cindy Lutz, with set design and construction by Mike Moorman. Assisted by two Freehold Performing Arts students from Howell High, sophomore Kayla Brown is leading the musical direction and sophomore Cooper Stahl is the production’s stage manager.
Tickets are $28 adults $25 Students/Seniors and available for purchase online. Both performances take place at 7:30pm.
The Strand Center for the Arts is located at 400 Clifton Avenue in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Since 2011, the Howell PAL Theater Company has been bringing educational and unparalleled quality theatrical performances to the Monmouth County area, under the direction of Mrs. Gillian Bryck. With the guidance of the Howell Police Athletic League, the company’s mission is to inspire, educate and challenge young people with extraordinary positive musical theater experiences. With a foundation of encouragement and trust, participants learn to explore their creative and artistic talents.
Each season, the PALTC produces full Broadway musicals featuring a teen summer show and a Broadway musical for people ages 6-21. Students get to experience the joy of theatre, while also learning what it takes to be an actor.
They offer Actor Toolbox and Musical Theater Dance and Voice classes year-round at the Howell PAL Community Center located in Howell, New Jersey.
The Howell PAL Theater Company, is a non-profit theater company that relies on donations, sponsorships and fundraising for people to participate in all PAL theater programs.