West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego

San Diego Music Theatre opens it's new production of the classic Broadway musical "West Side Story"

Well, it’s the day of the skit, y’all.

Three weeks of rehearsal, a week of tech, a few of bottles of Advil and a lot of joy culminate in tonight’s premiere of San Diego Music Theatre’s new production of West Side Story (choreographed by your’s truly). You can check out some pics from rehearsals below.

What an adventure! What a terrific journey as a truly gifted company joined me, director James Vasquez and music director Don LeMaster on exploring and creating this new take on the classic Broadway musical West Side Story.

There were days where I literally told the cast “I can’t count this – I need you to simply learn to feel the music,” – and they did. I had steps – no counts.

Days when this 51 year old body got out of bed and cursed my knees, feet and back for not being 25.

Days when I was glad the lights were down in the theater as the kids in “Cool” blew me away. (We all created THAT?)

“Dance At The Gym,” “America,” “Prologue,” “Jet Song,” “Gee,Officer Krupke.” All that dancing, and dancing…

Days when I pushed my “actors who dance” so hard and their talent pushed back in the best possible way.

West Side Story is so near and dear to my heart. I’ve often said of the score that Bernstein and Sondheim were channeling God when they wrote it. I smile that no one has seen me cry during so many musical moments.

This show pushed me so hard as an actor – four different times in four different roles. And now, to create our own version to pass on to these actors is really a gift.

For every “Shark” and “Jet”; every Lt. Shrank and Officer Krupke who pushes the world in on these kids; and to every pair of star-crossed lovers like “Tony” and “Maria” – get out there and live it.

“Here come the Jets, yeah, like a bat outta hell. Someone gets in our way, someone don’t feel so well.”

I’ll post official press photos in a couple of days. Here are a few “behind the scenes” pics from rehearsals via Facebook and Instagram accounts of the cast and I.

Get ready, San Diego. My kids aren’t playing.

Break it.

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
“I’m an American girl now – I don’t wait”

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
“Balcony” scene

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Spacing “Cool” on the stage for the first time

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Lighting the “Dance At The Gym”

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Early “Prologue” dance rehearsal

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Last day in the rehearsal hall with our director James Vasquez
leading the Sharks as I head up the Jets 🙂

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Doc’s Drugstore

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
Early lighting rehearsal

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
“Prologue” rehearsal

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
“Quintet” rehearsal

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
“Tonight”

West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego
And the dance shoes come off as I say “hey” to my friend Chardonnay 🙂

And finally, thank you to the West Side Story diet for helping me lose 11 pounds during this rehearsal period 🙂
West Side Story Opens Tonight In San Diego