West Side Story
West Side Story is set in the mid-1950s in the Upper West Side of New York City, then a multiracial, blue-collar neighborhood. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, from Puerto Rico, are taunted by the Jets, a white gang. Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang’s leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.
The original 1957 Broadway production, conceived, directed, and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway debut. ~ RATED PG
RIFF: Vocal range: G4-Bb2, Gender: Male, Age: 25 to 30
A spritely, quick-tempered leader. He seeks to eliminate the Sharks and establish his own gang’s dominance. Tony’s best friend, he is eventually murdered by Bernardo. Acrobatics a plus.
TONY: Vocal range: Bb4-Bb2, Gender: Male, Age: 25 to 30
A romantic young man and former leader of the Jets, he has found a new lifestyle now. Tony finds himself violently torn between his friendships and love. Falls in love to Maria and meets an untimely death. Genuinely sweet and sincere.
BERNARDO: Vocal range: Eb4-Bb2, Gender: Male, Age: 25 to 35
A proud, strong, handsome Puerto Rican man. Bernardo seeks to carve out territory as a sense of identity for he and his friends. Maria’s brother and Anita’s boyfriend. Leader of the Sharks.
MARIA: Vocal range: C6-Bb3, Gender: Female, Age: 18 to 21
A hopeless romantic and innocent young girl. She falls in love with Tony and finds herself at the center of the violent conflict between the two gangs. Bernardo’s sister. Puerto Rican.
ANITA: Vocal range: D5-F3, Gender: Female, Age: 25 to 30
Feisty and assertive. She dispenses “older sister” advice to Maria and tries to shield her from the dangers of the gangs. Bernardo’s girlfriend and Maria’s friend. Puerto Rican.
CHINO: Gender: Male, Age: 20 to 25
An angry and, at times, naive Shark who turns murderous and vengeful. Suitor to Maria and friend of Bernardo’s.
ACTION: Baritone, Gender: Male, Age 20-30
One of the Jets, Featured Solo “Gee, Officer Krupke”, is one of the “Ace men” of the Jets. Like some of the others, his nickname is indicative of his personality; he is very bad-tempered and always ready to fight at the drop of a hat, and as such often needs to be held back.
ANYBODYS: Gender: Female, Age: 15 to 25
A spunky tomboy who is desperate to become a member of the Jets. The other Jets mock her for her ambitions, but generally appreciate her company. Full of energy and heart.
DOC: Gender: Male, Age: 60 to 75
The owner of the candy store where the Jets hang out. He tries to guide the Jets youthful angst and provides a safe haven for Tony. Old fashioned and wise in his ways.
SCHRANK: Gender: Male, Age: 40 to 55
A local police detective frustrated by the ongoing violence between the Jets and Sharks. Blunt, brash, and unapologetic.
KRUPKE: Gender: Male, Age: 30 to 60
The local beat cop. He has no patience for the gang’s conflict and tries to keep tensions from erupting between them. Regularly mocked by the local gangs.
GLAD HAND: Gender: Male, Age: 30’s
A well-meaning social worker in charge of the dance.
Diesel: Riff’s Lieutenant
Graziella: Diesel’s Girlfriend
Velma: Riff’s Girlfriend
Pepe: Second in Command
Rosalia: Mezzo-Soprano, featured in “America”, and “I Feel Pretty”
Consuelo: Mezzo-Soprano, featured in “I Feel Pretty”
Francisca: Mezzo-Soprano, featured in “I Feel Pretty”