SSITP's West Side Story

By Syracuse Shakespeare-In-The-Park (other events)

6 Dates Through Aug 13, 2023

Licensed through MTI Shows, this production is based on the blurprint of the stage play and not either of the movie versions. Although the material is basically the same, the order of the songs and their impact on the audience differ.

Naturally, our show is differnt from an indoor staged version of WSS. We have no lights, other than sunlight, so we are unable to change scenes and moods in the manner of the Broadway play.

But, we do have the advatage of a huge space that encompasses two to three times the stage space of a typical Boradway theatre. We are using the large Thornden Park Amphitheatre stage, 70' wide and 30-35' deep as well as the entire center grass area of the Amphitheatre, about 125' x 75'. You will get the best of both worlds in this production.

The story revolves around Tony and Maria, taken from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and brings it into the late 1950's world of "urban renewal" and making way for Lincoln Center. Our star-crossed lovers, much like Romeo and Juliet, meet at a dance, and fall in love almost instantly.

Along the way we get the conflict of the Jets and the Sharks who are fighting for every inch of territory they feel belongs to them. Do they even realize that both gangs are being replaced by a high end cultural institution and none of the streets will belong to them any more.

With a score by Leonard Bernstein, first time Broadway lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the amazing choreography of Jerome Robbins, SSITP will blend all these elements together as we try to raise awareness of the futility and tragedy of gun violence in the play and in our own city.

The Syracuse Safer Streets (now known as Community Violence Intervention, CVI) program is attempting to reduce gun violence in our City and we hope to raise awareness and support for the program through our production and moderated discussions at the end of each performance.