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Peoria Players Bring “West Side Story”

Peoria Players Theatre is kicking off 2019 by continuing its 100th season with one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, West Side Story.

Under the direction of Travis Olson and Clifford Clark, with music direction by Susan Somerville Brown and choreography by Danny Fisher, West Side Story will surely be a “do not miss” production.

Peoria Players is putting on this masterpiece in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister and results in fatalities nobody saw coming.

The music was composed by musical legend Leonard Bernstein, who is also credited for the scores of Candide and On the Town. The lyrics to West Side Story were written by fellow musical legend Stephen Sondheim, recognized for incredible works such as Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George.

Performances of Peoria Players’ West Side Story are February 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and February 3 and 10 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for youth (20 and younger). To purchase tickets, call the box office at (309) 688-4473 or visit peoriaplayers.org.

The outstanding cast for West Side Story features both new and seasoned performers on the Peoria Players stage. The cast includes: Tyler Smith as Tony, Mary Rose Williams as Maria, Tiffany Riech as Anita, Tommy Rosecrans as Riff, Josh Jones as Bernardo, Clay Frankel as Action, Sarah Hall as Anybodys, Nathan Nomichit as A-Rab, Dylan Hill as Baby John, Quinten Frisch as Snowboy, Jerrod Barth as Diesel, Ryan Foulk as Chino, Kyle Bassett as Pepe, Alex George as Indio, Eli Eveland as Luis, Sydney Johnson as Rosalia, Lauren Dalton as Consuela, Madison Boedecker as Teresita, Taylor Walters-Greer as Francisca, Kristina Kliver as Graziella, Rachel Kocher as Velma, Kelly Frickleton as Minnie, Susan Hazzard as Pauline, Seth Katz as Detective Schrank, Charles Brown as Doc, Adam Drake as Glad Hand, Eric Carlson as Officer Krupke, and Adam Vestal as Officer O’Malley.

“When selecting our 100th season lineup of shows, we wanted to not only celebrate the past, but also look ahead to the future,” said Nicki Haschke, who has been with Peoria Players for 40 years. Dubbed as an “ageless musical,” it is an exemplary fit that West Side Story be performed in Peoria Players’ 100th season.

Following West Side Story on the Players stage is Dreamgirls in March 2019 and A Chorus Line in May 2019 to wrap up the theatre’s historic season.