Jay Manley, director of the Mountain Play’s 2016 production of West Side Story. Courtesy image.


David Moschler and Nicole Helfer, music director and choreographer, respectively, of the Mountain Play’s 2016 production of West Side Story. Courtesy image.

Two months after the Mountain Play revealed that its 2016 production of the Tony Award-winning musical West Side Story would be directed by Jay Manley, the organization announced that David Moschler, who won a 2015 Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Music Direction, will be its music director, and that Nicole Helfer, a 2015 Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Choreography, will be the choreographer. Manley directed the Sound of Music for the Mountain Play’s 100th anniversary production.  

“We are thrilled to have gathered a remarkable artistic team for this important production,” says Sara Pearson, Mountain Play executive director and producer. “The energy and enthusiasm is building daily and everyone is looking forward to creating an exciting fresh perspective on this beloved classic.”

Based on Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s infamous play about ill-fated young love, West Side Story is a Broadway classic written by Arthur Laurents and songs from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. Made famous by the 1961 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, the musical is known for one of the most complicated and beautiful scores in musical theater history. West Side Story explores racial tensions playing out on the streets of the Upper West Side in the 1950’s. The story centers around turf wars between the Sharks and the Jets, two rival street gangs, one white and one Puerto Rican. When Tony, a member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, whose brother is the leader of the Sharks, the young lovers must stand up to their families, their communities, and the very social order of the world they inhabit.

The 411: The Mountain Play’s production of West Side Story runs May 22, 29, 29, June 5, 11, 12 and 19. Performances start at 2pm. MORE INFO.

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