West Side Story to be performed in Murfreesboro

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The Center for the Arts will be presenting West Side Story, the revolutionary Tony award-winning production that forever changed American musical theater, July 17 - August 2, 2015. A modern retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1950s, West Side Story is the heartbreaking tale of Tony and Maria, star-crossed young lovers caught in a turf war between rival gangs. The well-known musical score full of Latin and Jazz-infused songs includes "Somewhere," "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty," and "America." West Side Story first premiered on Broadway in 1957 and is the result of a collaboration between three theatrical luminaries, the book by Tony award winner Arthur Laurents, music by Tony and Grammy award-winner Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winner Stephen Sondheim. The smash hit 1961 film version of West Side Story won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and catapulted the musical to the center of the national conversation. The Center for the Arts' production is directed by Kim Powers, with Musical Direction by Sam Hagler and Assistant Direction and Choreography by Julie Wilcox.

Appearing as the infamous couple are Corey Shadd as Tony, who audiences just enjoyed as Ted Hinton in Bonnie and Clyde, and Crystal Kurek as Maria. Dakota Green will be portraying Riff - the leader of the Jets, while Timothy Taylor will be appearing as Bernardo - the leader of the Sharks. Emily Park-Highfield will be gracing the stage as the fiery Anita. The 37 person cast is comprised mostly of local teenagers and college age performers, which excites Director Kim Powers. "These kids are the age of the gang members in this show. Watching them learn what this show is really about and how relevant it is to today's race relations has been very rewarding."

Assistant Director/Choreographer Julie Wilcox whose work is well known at the Center (Hairspray, Hello Dolly, The King and I - to name a few) is working nightly with the cast to get them into dance shape for the show. "I'm enjoying the challenge of working with the kids, the majority of whom are non-dancers, and helping them portray this story through dance. I love the original choreography, Jerome Robbins' was a large influence on my personal choreographic approach and it is exciting to work in this style".

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West Side Story will run July 17 - August 2, 2015 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $13.00 for Seniors, Students and Military and $11.00 for Children age 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased on the Center's website at www.boroarts.org, by calling 615-904-2787 or by stopping by the Center during business hours.

The Center for the Arts is located at 110 West College Street in Murfreesboro, TN. Center for the Arts, Inc. is a recognized 501c3 organization and is supported in part by generous grants provided by The City of Murfreesboro, The Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. West Side Story is sponsored by Franklin Synergy Bank.

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