ACT WINDSOR’S “The MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUND I’VE EVER HEARD” – WEST SIDE STORY
After three years of Windsor theatre being dark due to the global pandemic, our entertainment cathedrals and local thespians have returned. On Friday, October 14, 2022, Windsor’s Capitol Theatre presented ACT WINDSOR’s (Arts Collective Theatre) its opening night of the Broadway and 1958 Tony Award winner, West Side Story.
This Jerome Robbins inspired musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim is among the most loved, revered and reprised musicals of all time. It has the same timelessness as, say, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Show Director Chris Rabideau refers to this current production as ACT II since ACT’s first production back in 2014 was West Side Story.
Rabideau possesses a certain wizardry when it comes to putting together a classic show like this.
He assembles a cast of first-time performers and, with the assistance of Musical director Ian Smith and Choreographer Tiffany Chan, has transformed these young actors into what appears to be, seasoned performers.
Rabideau also wanted a diverse cast and he tells us: “We have assembled one of the most inclusive casts in Windsor. We have representation from South American communities, including Columbia, Brazil, and Argentina as well as South Asia, Italy, Greece, and members of the black and LGBTQ2+ communities.”
The cast was accompanied by a small orchestra of 14 talented musicians and four additional singers in the orchestra pit below the stage. It wasn’t until after the show when I reviewed the Playbill that I realized there was a live orchestra; I thought we were listening to a recorded sound track.
Except for a very few minor technical glitches with microphones in the second half, the technical aspects of lighting, sound and set changes was flawless.
Kudos to the cast’s mentors: Tiffany Chan (Choreography & Fight Coach); Leslie McCurdy (Technical Dance); Moya McAllister (Marketing & Costumes); Valentine Yaghoubzadeh (Costume Designer) and Filip Khan (Technical Director, Set Build & Construction).
I am not going to attempt to highlight individual cast performances because this was a total A+ team-collective effort! Every performer from the leads to the support roles more than hit their marks as judged by one of the fastest and longest standing ovations by the nearly sold-out house.
West Side Story continues its performances October 15, 21 & 22, 2022 @ 8 p.m. and October 16 & 23, 2022 @ 2 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online or from the Windsor Symphony Box Office at 121 University Ave West (519 973-1238).