Two warring cultures, young people from opposing sides falling in love, sound familiar? It's not "Romeo and Juliet," it's "West Side Story." Inspired by the Shakespearean saga, the musical is set in New York in the 1950s and is now onstage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis.
The Jets, a gang led by Riff, have decided to declare war on the Sharks, a gang of Puerto Rican immigrants. In the midst of the building tension, Tony, a member of the Jets, and Maria, sister of the Sharks leader, Bernardo, manage to fall in love.
The tragic tale of the star-crossed lovers is set to the music of Leonard Berstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The well-known songs, like "Tonight" and "I Feel Pretty," are crowd pleasers.
The two leads are new to Beef & Boards. Evy Ortiz stars as Maria and Loren Christopher plays, Tony. They are both talented actors. Ortiz's voice is beautiful and it brings a richness to each number she's in.
Bernardo, played by Joshua Gunn, and Monique Alhaddad, as his girlfriend Anita, are feisty and perfectly cast. The pair heat up the stage with their chemistry and dance moves, especially in "America."
The supporting cast of Jets shine during the hilarious "Gee, Officer Krupke;" a light-hearted number full of "buddy boy" and "daddy-o" lingo.
After the choreographed dances and ballads of love are stripped away, the story is really about acceptance and overcoming prejudice. Revenge leads only to more bloodshed. This Broadway classic packs a powerful punch with it's moral of the story finale.
For anyone looking for the perfect date night during this month of love, this show provides a meal, music and a great message.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until March 22. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The buffet is served at 6:30 and the show begins at 8 p.m. One Sundays the buffet is served at 5:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $33 to $55 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.
*Photo Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre