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. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comI held it off for as long as I could, but the other day, I caved. I thought I was doing okay. I made all the strong arguments. I applied the five canons of rhetoric, just like you’re supposed…

Wednesday, December 12, 6 - 8 p.m.The Historic Holmes Theater, 806 Summit Avenue, Detroit LakesJoin legendary singer-songwriter Larry Long and Friends, along with Winona LaDuke for an evening of music and storytelling to benefit…

Title X was established in 1970 and is the only federal family planning program that provides grants to a number of providers of family planning and related health services. It was designed to provide information, supplies and…

What Is The Fastest Growing Religion?Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center and the Hartford Institute for Religious Research indicate that one in four Americans do not belong to any religion. In fact, the largest…

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…

It was Tuesday night, not an average night for a date, but with busy schedules you eat when time allows. I had been eyeing 46 North since in utero, the concept of pints and provisions is more easily stated by bar and grill, but…

Music

Midwest roots

by Sabrina Hornung

When Iowa born roots musician William Elliott Whitmore describes his latest album “Kilonova,” he likens it to a mixed tape, it’s all covers ranging from Magnetic Fields to Captain Beefheart, Jimmie Driftwood and more. He said…

Based on the subject’s candid memoir, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” pulls back the curtain on the sexual escapades of Scotty Bowers, longtime bartender, World War 2 Marine Corps veteran, and pimp/arranger on…

“If I go to France and eat French food and write like the French. When I was in Yugoslavia I was working as a Yugoslavian. When I went to Paris for three years I worked with a French influence. Then I came here and I become…

by Nataly Routledgenatalyroutledge@googlemail.comMOORHEAD—Do you like theater? Do you have about 85 minutes of spare time? If your answers to these questions were yes, then it would be advantageous for you to know about Theater…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…