MATTHEW LEIGHT – The Corsair
The Pensacola State College Theatre Department concluded it’s first production of the 2010-2011 season on November 21. The West Side Story was the first of 4 productions that will be held this season at the Ashmore Auditorium. The remaining shows will be Shakespeare’s King Lear, Present Laughter and the summer performance of Guys and Dolls.
The West Side Story was a dramatic musical of love and tragedy loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This production included great acting performances in the leading roles from Michael Smith, Rickie Fontenot Jr., Nethaneel Williams, and Liza Wenzel. However, Sarah Javier “stole the show.” With a brilliant acting performance and vocals to match, she executed the co-leading role of Maria with class and ease.
The orchestra, conducted by Don Snowden, played wonderful renditions of the original music written by the legendary Leonard Bernstein. I was also delightfully surprised by the elaborate set design that was displayed on stage.
The Music and Theatre Department has been providing the community with the gift of performing arts for over fifty years. In doing so, they have provided students with a quality and affordable education in such arts. According to the department, “Pensacola State College graduates can be seen in Broadway plays, Hollywood productions, directing church choirs” and the list goes on. I would suggest that students take advantage of both the wonderful music and theatre here at Pensacola State. It is only made better by the fact that admission as a student is free.