Michigan Tech travels back to the 50s in West Side Story

Published: Apr. 12, 2017 at 11:29 AM EDT
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Students from Michigan Tech along with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra are taking you back to the 50's as they present the musical West Side Story.

"This is a really complicated show. I should say a complex show; dancing, singing, acting, requires the best from everybody” said Director, Trish Helsel. “The music especially; Leonard Bernstein did not construct an easy composition and as wonderful as it is, it takes a lot to rehearse every night and be on cue with everything."

It's a story which at its core presents examples of conflict, unity, and most of all, love.

"It definitely has some very serious parallels with Romeo and Juliet” said Kiersten Birondo, playing Maria. “The two young lovers from opposite worlds that are at odds and really trying to figure out a way to overcome that and have that be something that is acceptable to both sides of the world and trying to bring about some semblance of peace."

Not only is this a visually appealing show, but the music itself tells a powerful story.

"Everything that Maria is feeling, all of her hope, all of her pain and her fears; you can feel all of that in the way that the music is written" said Birondo.

"There's not one, but two extremely famous American composers that comprised this show” said Brendan Collins, playing Tony. “It's interesting when you realize that this show wasn't good enough when it only had one of the most well-known American composers of all time working on it.”

Shows take place at the Roza Center, running Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be found