Guthrie Theater tackles West Side Story for 2018

- Just eight months after the iconic source material vanished from the Guthrie stage, a brand new company is bringing Romeo and Juliet's musical twin to life. West Side Story is set to serve as the Guthrie Theater's annual summer blockbuster, entertaining audiences with a mix of traditional musical theatre spectacle and an authentic dose of heartfelt tragedy.

Featuring classics like "Maria," "I Feel Pretty" and "Tonight," West Side Story is both a love story and a commentary on the state of America's immigrant melting pot. The Guthrie's production, which officially opens June 22, will reinterpret the show with a nod to the race and immigration issues of today.

West Side Story spins the tragic tale of lovers Tony, played by Marc Koeck, and Maria, played by Mia Pinero. Both actors understand 2018 is a timely moment for a revival.

"You're going to realize why this keeps being done, why we need this piece," Pinero said. "People love a good love story, and I think this shows the power of love, and the power of hate, and I think those are timeless."

Composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins originally tackled those themes through music and movement, something the Guthrie is giving a fresh reboot.

"It is a complete retake of the choreography. It is not the Jerome Robbins that everyone knows and loves," Koeck said. "It's really stunning storytelling."

Taking over the Wurtele Thrust Stage for the next two months, the iconic musical will run through August 26. Tickets can be purchased online at guthrietheater.org

For a special preview of the show, be sure to check out the cast in rehearsal in our video above.

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