Hawthorne: West Side Story Five Stars
When West Side Story was chosen to be performed at Hawthorne High School, many people were curious to see how directors Jill Hackett and Kimberly Griffin would tackle this task.
Act One opened with the “Prologue” where the audience was introduced to both gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. That scene set the tone for the rest of the play with its orchestration and choreography.
Riff, played by HHS senior Michael McCarthy, led the Jets in the show’s first song, the “Jet Song.” The musical continued with “Mambo!” scene, showcasing the choreography directed by Griffin. Bernardo (Julio Aybar, Jr.) and Anita (Melissa Pilar) were very lively and made the scene enjoyable to watch. Riff (Michael McCarthy) and Velma (Erica Milbrook) were just as good also.
Tony, played by HHS junior Steven Prieto, showed off his voice in songs such as “Something’s Coming” and “Maria.”
HHS sophomore Nicole Crilly, who played Maria, did justice to duets such as “One Hand, One Heart” and “A Boy Like That,” an opportunity for Pilar to show off her voice. The whole scene between Crilly and Pilar moved the audience.
“Tonight” was a highlight of the production. The Jets set up on one side of the stage and the Sharks on the other side. Tony stood center stage with Maria behind him on a balcony, and Anita stood off to the side. The number was performed by the entire cast.
Mike Girond conducted the orchestra, while HHS alumnus David DeRosa played the piano. Behind the scenes, the crew worked hard to make the show look good. Led by stage managers Adrianna Inglese and Jennie White, the crew worked efficiently, making all of the scene changes on time. Nick Addesso directed the crew in constructing and designing props and scenery, such as the walls that had the words “Jets” and “Sharks” painted across them. The lights were managed by Eric Nickl, and the sound was managed by Matt Fenkart.