Tracker Pixel for Entry

​‘West Side Story’ from North side

by Jack Dura | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | November 19th, 2014

Photo by Della Nystrom

School’s first dance show in eight years

For Fargo North High, this fall’s musical is something of a first. At least in the last eight years.

In selecting “West Side Story” for the stage this fall, it’s the first “dance-heavy” show the high school has had since 2006’s “Pippin.” Director Tom Gillen thought it was time to do such a show, mainly because the right mix of boys was on hand, but also for another reason.

“I heard that we’d started to get a reputation around town as the high school that doesn’t do dance shows. We had to break that,” he said.

Inspired by “Romeo and Juliet,” “West Side Story” finds two warring gangs at odds in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. The Sharks and Jets are as bitter as the Montagues and Capulets, but Tony (a Jet) and Maria (a Shark) fall in love, and boom—we’ve got the groundwork of the plot of “West Side Story.”

Over 70 students construct the cast, crew and pit of North’s musical, with 39 in the cast. This is a little bit of a bigger show for the high school, and with the choreography involved, a couple of pros have been tapped to help out.

North alum David Triptow and Red River dance instructor Haylee Thompson stepped in to guide the students through the show’s choreography, an aspect that much of the cast has enjoyed with the triple threat of acting, singing and dancing.

“They’ve really done well. We have sacrificed singing time, not quality,” Gillen said of the students, adding, “They have not complained, they come here every day for fun and I think they just like working with the directing team. This is exciting for them to do a classic like this that has such great music and powerful dancing.”

One side note about the show’s music is that “West Side Story” is dedicated to Dan Italiano, longtime orchestra instructor and pit leader at Fargo North. Italiano was unable to conduct this year’s musical due to a health-related matter.

Photo by Della Nystrom

“We want to give him one more good show here,” Gillen said of the dedication.

“West Side Story” is also a musical that brings some social relevance to the table with its themes of juvenile delinquency and other social problems.

This is something else that the folks behind Fargo North’s “West Side Story” want to bring to light: that “we’re all people,” as Gillen put it.

“Last year there was an issue where The Forum had some stories about some people who broke the law, and then all of a sudden, we heard on the news, well, they’re all the same color,” he said.

“And we noticed that everyone on the front page is the same color, and we’re trying to look at this story and go, ‘This stuff is happening now.’ Immigration in Fargo’s a big issue, and we want to share that with the audience, that we’re all coming from different backgrounds, and it’s not a color issue at all. We’re all people.”

IF YOU GO

“West Side Story” 

Fargo North High’s Spartan Auditorium 

7:30 p.m. Thur-Sat, 2 p.m. Sun

701-446-2509

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Policy, not law, has torn more than 2,300 children from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border. Although immigration reform has been a heated topic for decades, the policy of zero tolerance began with a…

Stand-up comedy can certainly be a cutthroat business. Despite the fact that everyone loves to laugh, humor is highly subjective. What splits one person’s sides may offend the other. More than one comic has watched a show (or…

Monday, June 25, 7 p.m.Sanctuary Events Center, 670 4th Ave N, Fargo It’s no surprise that Q magazine dubbed The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die," with their elaborate stage shows and multi-layered…

Just last week Raul and I were driving a rental car on the backroads of Mallorca, a small Mediterranean Island off the coast of Spain. Not gonna lie, my nose may or may not have been pressed hard against the window admiring the…

Ireland Has Sent Pope Francis and The Vatican A Dear John Letter: “It’s Over!”The Irish people and the Vatican have been developing a huge cultural grand canyon for decades over the issues of gender identities,…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Every year the Fargo Moorhead area celebrates its love of food with Restaurant week. Each restaurant involved prepares a special menu to showcase the best of what they have to offer. This year there are seventeen restaurants…

Front Street Taproom has struck up a relation with local record shop, Vinyl Giant. There are two events where turntables are set up and people can play their records. Every Wednesday they host Vinyl Night from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.…

Scaring up early buzz as a premiere in the Midnight section of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” is the horror film of the year. Anchored by the vital performance of Toni Collette as grieving,…

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduCome one, come all to the 59th anniversary of the Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibition! This tradition celebrates each year with a preview and awards selection the first night of its showing, with…

Projects have a tendency to take on a life of their own once they’ve reached a certain point. When the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre was established in 1946 to offer other local opportunities for artistic expression outside…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comHow lucky we are in the FM area that we have so many craft breweries, but did you know that we also have two cider houses? Cottonwood Cider House is one of those cider houses and is just a short…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Last Word

​Keeping FM C.L.E.A.N

by HPR Contributor

By Paul JensenFargo, as the most populous city in the state with 120,000 inhabitants, added nearly 6,000 20-to-34-year-olds in 2015, just over five percent of the total population. Fargo is attracting well-educated young…