It’s nice to occasionally revisit your roots. In my case, I headed back to my old high school. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been back; it was interesting to see how much has changed, but how much has stayed the same. Now that we’ve gotten a little nostalgia out of the way, it’s time to focus on what we’re here for; the production of West Side Story.
Theatre was a big part of my high school experience (okay, so maybe the nostalgia isn’t over). I loved my drama classes, and I had a hand in 3 productions over my 4 years. The last time I was back at Centennial was to see their production of Les Miserables the year after I graduated. When I was driving past the school and saw that they were putting on West Side Story, I was really excited to go see it. I called up my friend Lauren, who was my partner in crime during my theatre days, and we made a plan to go.
I had never seen a performance of West Side Story before, nor had I seen the movie. I knew that the story was loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, and I had heard a few songs before and loved them. I figured the show would be right up my alley.
I was definitely right. I loved the play, and I thought the high schooler’s performance of it was stellar. This was probably the best high school production I have seen. There was obviously some dramatic and sad moments, but there were many funny and witty moments to balance the emotion out. I have to give the students and the choreographers a ton of props, because the dance numbers were phenomenal. My favourite number of the show was without a doubt ‘America’. Every single girl was just brilliant.
The stand-out stars of the show in my eyes were Jessica Wilson as Maria, Bradley Doyle as Action, and Daphne Mowat as Anita. Jessica has one of the best voices I have ever heard from a high school student, she did not miss a single note and blew me away in every song. Bradley brought a lot of fun to his character, and I enjoyed watching him every time he was on stage. I thought Daphne gave the best performance in the entire show. She was sassy and beautiful, her accent was great, and her dancing was even better. All-in-all she was the perfect Anita.
It was a lot of fun to go back to my school, and see some of the people that made my high school experience so much fun. The play was really great, and I’m so glad I went. If you live in the Niagara Region and love a little local theatre, this play is a must-see. The show runs April 24th, 25th, 26th, and May 1st and 2nd.