West Side Story - Sixth National Non-Equity Tour: Chicago, Illinois (June 15, 2013) *Matinee*
Guy Mandia Jr. (Action), Erika Hebron (s/w Anybodys), Max Chucker (A-rad), Josh Pins (Baby John), Louie Napoleon (s/w Big Deal), Dan Higgins (Diesel), Lauren Cannon (Graziella), Virginia Horne (Hotsie), Laura Volpacchio (Mugsy), Theo Lencicki (Riff), Jeff M. Smith (Snowboy), Addison Reid Coe (Tony), Blue Cervini (Velma), Yesenia Ayala (Alicia), Michelle Alves (Anita), Amber Ardolino (Bebecita), Andres Acosta (Bernardo), Tory Ramirez (Bolo), Anthony Raimondi (s/w Chino), J. Nycole Ralph (Chino), J. Nycole Ralph (Consuela), Thaddeus (Federico), Arianna Rosario (Fernanda), Mark Deler (Inca), Maryjoanna Grisso (Maria), Ricardo Rique-Sanchez (Pepe), Carolina Sanchez (Rosalia), Tony Thomas (Tio), Greg London (Doc), Matthew Krob (Glad Hand), Thomas Mothershed (Officer Krupke), Todd Fentermaker (Lt. Schrank).
Well, where do I begin? West Side Story was great! This is not my favorite show, but I know that it is a classic and honestly one of the best musicals ever. With that said, I liked it. This is the one show where the movie is slightly better. The story seemed more slow and paced in the movie and I feel that in the show it was very rushed. Otherwise, this is a fantastic production of the show. The set was slightly toned down from the Broadway production. However, the set was never that elaborate to begin with. It’s a pretty simplistic set, so everything looked fine. The cast was fantastic! It was Non-Equity cast (that doesn’t bother me at all), so that means many of them aren’t very well known. Addison Reid Coe was good as Tony. However, his voice was a bit strange. His singing sounded fantastic. But, his acting was STELLAR! So, all and all he was the perfect choice for the role. Maryjoanna Grisso was awesome as Maria. She hit the high notes with ease. She had such a pretty voice! Although, I never realized how bland the character Maria is. I don’t mean bland in a bad way. But, here character was very predictable. The speech she gave at the end after Tony was shot (SPOILER) was so brilliantly acted. Michelle Alves was the biggest stand out for me. Her Anita was fantastic! The sass she put into America was awesome! Also, her voice had an uncanny resemblance to Karen Olivio. I noticed it right away. The way she belted was so similar. All around fantastic. Theo Lencicki was awesome as Riff. His voice was so clear, and his belt was well so clear as well! There were a lot more in the cast, but to me their roles (not them!) aren't really as stand outish to me. The entire ensemble was freaking fantastic. I wasn’t as into the choreography as Bring It On, but I was like damn, those are some hard moves. I also loved the Spanish translation into the Shark’s songs. I felt it added a lot more diversity. Well, I can’t say I’m gonna rush to see this show again. But, even I can’t deny the show is fantastic! I’ll give it a 8.5/10
Stage Door was interesting. The cast were coming out but they were all going I away from me. Then, these two guys who I believe were part of the Jets came out and signed my Playbill & souvenir program. Then Addison Reid Coe came over and asked if he could borrow my sharpie, but then he also signed my stuff. Then, I asked him if the guy who played Riff came out yet? So, he said he was right behind me. He was talking to a girl so I waited. However, I had a message for him. I am friends on Facebook with Shannon Mullen. She plays Sherrie in the 2NT of Rock Of Ages. I wrote on Facebook that I was seeing WSS and she wrote a comment that said “My best friend is Riff...cheer extra loud for him”. So, I wanted to tell him hi for her. Theo Lencicki was so nice. He couldn't believe I knew her. So, I told him about my ROA adventure. So, he signed my Playbill and took a picture. It was a lot of fun to talk with him. Then one girl who was in the cast signed my Playbill, and she was super sweet. She was one of the Shark girls because she told me that she actually did not speak Spanish. Lol. So, all around it was a pretty cool stage door.
A pretty good one. I also did a movie reference with editing: