Curtain falls on annual musical

Photos by Lucy Wimmer


On the night of Feb. 8, the curtain fell for the last time on the third and final night of the choir’s production of West Side Story. The cast and crew wrapped up what was a wildly successful production. Close to 300 choir members, ranging in grade from sophomore to senior, took the stage with 28 professional orchestra members and performed the classic musical to sold-out crowds every night. Audience members were left feeling awestruck after every show.

“I was amazed that high school students could put on such a fantastic show,” senior Alayna Garcia said. “[Getting to] see all my friends and hear about all the work that went into the production [was my favorite part.]”

Performers in the musical were left with feelings of appreciation and a sense of joy after pulling off an amazing feat.

“It was fun to be able to share my talent and passion with so many people, and I was so grateful that [the audience] was so appreciative of that,” said senior Holly Gibson, who played the role of Maria. “It’s really challenging music, and being able to do it with people who can execute it on a high level was really awesome.”

Another lead character was Chino, played by senior Joshua Kaufman. This was Joshua’s second Westlake musical, but he has played roles in other theater productions.

“Playing the role of Chino was something entirely different than what I’ve done in past productions,” Joshua said. “In other plays, such as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride and the candy man in Willy Wonka, my roles were very flat. They had unique characteristics about them and had one sole purpose in the production. With Chino, I had to portray an innocent gentleman in the first act yet be able to bring out his dark side of his personality in the second act. My favorite part of playing Chino was the challenge of presenting the diversity of his personality. The most challenging part of playing the role was getting the audience to understand who Chino really is. You have to realize that Chino isn’t a villain. Even so, most people view him as such because he is a murderer in the end. Overall, playing Chino was by far the best experience I’ve had in my high school acting career and I’m so proud of how I got to share him with the audience.”

Junior Kendal Lyssy, who participated in the “Dance at the Gym” scene, was grateful for the opportunity West Side Story provided.

“Overall [the show] was incredible, and the fact that [the choir] could pull that off felt really good,” Kendal said.