Contra Costa Civic Theatre's West Side Story, opening tonight, July 13, boasts the largest orchestra in the company's 52-year history, 26 actors making their CCCT debut, and the first collaboration of Artistic Director Derrick J. Silva (Choreographer), and Managing Director Daren A.C. Carollo (Director).
Thanks to Sean Kana (Musical Director, making his CCCT debut), we welcome our first thirteen-piece orchestra. West Side Story was originally scored for over forty musicians for its 1957 Broadway opening. Kana and his musicians have the challenge of making these talented musicians sound just like those in 1957 and every Broadway revival since (1960, 1980, and 2009).
CCCT continues its rich tradition of welcoming newcomers to our stage. An unprecedented 26 out of 33 West Side Story actors are making their CCCT debut. Silva said, "We pride ourselves on casting the best actor for every role."
Carollo and Silva have worked together before, but never in this way. Carollo had the pleasure of staging Silva as Sweeney Todd in CCCT's Sweeney Todd, The Balladeer in Assassins, and as Aaron Fox in the Bay Area Premiere of Curtains. But West Side Story marks the first time they create a show together. "Derrick has the gift of knowing how to work with actors of all experience levels. His expectations are high and he knows how to get the actors to meet them," said Carollo.
"I think this production will keep you on The Edge of your seat," said Carollo. "The show's pace is non-stop. We go from one of the only opening numbers in musical theatre history with no lyrics to memorable number after memorable number, with the tightest book and realistic fight sequences sprinkled in between."
There will be a special preview event on July 1st at 6:30pm in conjunction with the Youth Musical Theatre Company (YMTC) production of West Side Story, which runs at El Cerrito High School at the same time as our first two weekends. Both casts will present the balcony scene to a select audience of board members, donors, and volunteers. Press is welcomed to attend. Please RSVP to the contact information above.
West Side Story runs from tonight, July 13 to August 12; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sunday matinees on July 15th, 22nd, 29th and August 5th and 12th at 2pm; and two Thursday night performances on July 26th and August 9th at 8pm. Tickets are $27, $15 for ages 16 and under and may be purchased online at www.ccct.org or by phone at 510-524-9132. Contra Costa Civic Theatre is located at 951 Pomona Avenue (at Moeser Lane) El Cerrito, with free parking in the adjoining lot.