WEST SIDE STORY: Resources for the press

Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Directed by Lisa Mallette.
July 16-August 23, 2015. Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. (No matinee July 19.) Three 8 p.m. Wednesday performances, on August 5, 12, and 19.
Download high-res publicity photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past shows.
[image: Danielle Mendoza as Anita]

Danielle Mendoza sings “And the bullets flying!” in the song “America.” Photo by Susan Mah Photography.

SAN JOSE, CA (June 18, 2015) – All theater fans think they know West Side Story. But most see it in a big theater on a distant stage. Now City Lights gives audiences a chance to get up close to this passionate classic.

All the star-crossed love, all the high notes and all the mamboing will fill City Lights’ intimate 100-seat theater starting next month. Directed by Lisa Mallette, West Side Story runs July 16 through Aug. 23 at 529 S. Second St. in San Jose. For details and tickets, go to cltc.org or call 408-295-4200.

The world’s greatest love story takes to the streets of New York City in this retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story follows two idealistic young lovers who find themselves caught between warring street gangs: the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive amid hatred and violence becomes one of the most celebrated, relevant musical dramas of all time.

The musical is the result of a collaboration among some of the titans of American musical theater. Based on a concept of Jerome Robbins, West Side Story has a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It opened on Broadway on Sept. 26, 1957, and ran for 732 performances before closing in 1959. Award nods included a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical and a Tony win for Jerome Robbins for Best Choreography.

The show has since has had four Broadway revivals, including a 2009 production that incorporated more Spanish into the dialogue and lyrics. It ran for 748 performances and earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The Los Angeles Times wrote, “West Side Story still tops nearly every other musical that’s followed it.”

Lisa Mallette (Director) is City Lights’ longtime Executive Artistic Director. She has directed many City Lights shows, including Amadeus, the world-premiere production of Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman, the Northern California premiere of Build, The Rocky Horror Show, Rent, First Person Shooter, Distracted, and Hair. She has appeared on stage in August: Osage County, Dead Man Walking, last season’s The Language Archive, and many others. Mallette, a Peninsula resident and San Francisco native, is a recipient of the 2014 Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Award.

Jennifer Gorgulho (Choreographer) graduated from San Jose with a BFA in dance with a jazz emphasis. Choreographic works include City Lights’ sold-out production of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT last summer, and shows at Palo Alto Players (Big Fish, Young Frankenstein, Miss Saigon), West Valley Light Opera (Irene) and Children’s Musical Theater San Jose (Phantom). Performance credits include Mary Poppins, White Christmas, Shrek The Musical, A Chorus Line, Hairspray and Swing!

Katie Linza (Musical Director) gives private voice and piano lessons and teaches choir, music theory and musical theater at Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills. Her resume also includes working as music director, conductor, piano accompanist and arranger for jazz, pop, classical choral, a cappella and theatrical groups, and singing and recording with jazz, R&B/funk/soul, gospel, Afro-Latin and musical-theater ensembles. She is also a theater, film and commercial actor.

Cast: The 26-member cast includes Katherine Dela Cruz as Maria, Max Jennings as Tony, Nick Rodrigues as Bernardo, Danielle Mendoza as Anita, Josiah Frampton as Riff, Zoey Lytle as Velma, and George Gemette as Doc.

Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Melissa Sanchez (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting), George Psarras (Sound), and Miranda Whipple (Props).

Sponsors and Supporters: These include Silicon Valley Creates, Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations.

City Lights’ 2015-16 season begins this fall with Jeffrey Hatcher’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Up next is the romantic comedy Handle With Care by Jason Odell Williams, followed by a quirkier comedy, Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock. The contemporary classic drama The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance opens next spring, with Lauren Gunderson’s dark comedy I and You afterward. The rock musical Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT rounds out the season in summer 2016. For more information, go to cltc.org.

DETAILS

WHAT: The world’s greatest love story is transported to New York City in West Side Story. Romeo and Juliet takes to the streets as two young lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs. Their struggle to survive in a world of violence becomes a celebrated musical drama.

WHEN:
July 16-Aug. 23, 2015
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, July 16, 8 p.m.
$17 Preview Night: Friday, July 17, 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, July 18, 8 p.m.
Regular showtimes: Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sundays (no matinee on July 19) at 2 p.m. Three Wednesday performances, on Aug. 5, 12 and 19.

WHERE:
City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95112

TICKETS:
Regular tickets are $17-$32; discounts for seniors, students/educators, and groups (10+). (There is a $2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases.) Opening night is $35 general, $30 for seniors, and $19 for students/educators. Tickets for closing weekend are increased by $2.

INFO:
For tickets or more information, go to cltc.org or call 408-295-4200. The theater is wheelchair-accessible.

PRESS:
For press passes or more information, contact City Lights marketing director Rebecca Wallace at rebecca@cltc.org or 408-295-4200. Downloadable high-res photos are at bit.ly/westsidephotos.

Press resources for past City Lights shows