Chazy Music Theatre to perform West Side Story

CHAZY - Chazy Music Theatre will be putting on a production of West Side Story - the classic tale of love and conflict.

Co-director Andrew Ducharme said the story can easily be compared to Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

"The characters of Tony and Maria come from different ethnic backgrounds," he explained. "You have basically this love affair that is parallel to the star-crossed lovers in Romeo & Juliet."

Ducharme said he and co-director Jason Borrie were involved in a production of West Side Story years ago through the Essex Theatre Company.

"We really, really enjoyed our experience with doing this show and it's a show that Chazy had never done before," Ducharme said. "So, we put a proposal in and the board thought it was a good proposal and they chose to do West Side this year."

Chazy Music Theatre is a community organization made of up of students and adults of all ages, with a crew of nearly 85 people for West Side Story - from the production crew, to actors, to the orchestra.

"Chazy has a great reputation for providing quality theatre at a low price," Ducharme said. "And, as far as the actors, production staff and orchestra, everybody really comes together to work as hard as they can to make the best show possible."

As for West Side Story, Ducharme explained it's a "great story of love and conflict and that always keeps people interested."

"It's music and it's dance," he added. "I think a lot of people ... grew up with the melodies of this play and there's a lot of people that when they talk to me, they always have experiences that relate to this play. They always remember the first time they saw it on film, the first time somebody brought them to see the production."

Although Ducharme said the play does not "end happy," it still provides good lessons to the audience.

"It conveys a lot of lessons about hate, about love, about youth," he said. "All those themes that are Romeo & Juliet as well."

The play will be held at the Chazy Central Rural School Auditorium, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18, through Saturday, March 20, and at 2 p.m. March 20 and Sunday, March 21. Admission is $8.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call 846-6840 or 846-3500.

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