Timeless Classic to Launch Performance Riverside Season

West Side Story Cast Members
Performance Riverside launches its 2019-20 season with West Side Story, a classic musical masterpiece that explores themes of race, young love, tradition and the immigrant experience.

Filled with soaring vocals like MariaTonightI Feel PrettyAmerica, and dynamic and explosive dance numbers,West Side Story is considered one of the most groundbreaking musicals ever written. It takes the most famous romantic drama of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and sets it loose in epic fashion on the streets of 1950s New York, finding two idealistic young lovers, Tony and Maria caught between warring street gangs — the Jets and the Sharks.

There will be eight showings (four at 2 pm) at the Landis Performing Arts Center, beginning on October 4 and concluding on October 13. West Side Story was written by Arthur Laurents and put to music by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics from Stephen Sondheim.

Lauren Louis will star as Maria, Matthew Malecki as Tony, Sebastian Montenegro as Bernardo, Mikayla Agrella as Anita, and Jeffrey Scott Parsons as Riff.

Carlos Mendoza is directing and developing choreographing for over 30 cast members — actors, dancers and singers. Mendoza has an extensive resume as actor, director, choreographer and producer. He has won such awards as San Diego Critics Circle Awards for his productions of West Side StoryRagtime and In the Heights; the 2014 BRAVO (San Diego) award for body of work; the 2015 National Youth Arts Award for his production of In the Heights at San Diego Junior Theatre; and the Inland Theatre League Award for Choreography for his production of In the Heights at Performance Riverside. Additionally, he choreographed two seasons of Dos Y Dos for the Latin American Multimedia Corporation, a groundbreaking educational TV/DVD series.

Tickets for West Side Story are available through the Landis Performing Arts Center Box Office at (951) 222-8100 or online at www.performanceriverside.org. The Center is located on Riverside City College, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92506.