REVIEW: ‘West Side Story’ Is a Knockout Hit at Northport’s Engeman Theater

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York “West Side Story” had the audience on its feet applauding wildly and shouting bravos after its first Saturday night performance at the John W. Engeman Theater. The musical saga of star-crossed lovers whose Manhattan romance is doomed by cultural discord is not only simply sensational, but the perfect choice for the Northport theater’s 50th production.The show itself has some stellar history too. “West Side Story” first graced Broadway in 1957. It brought together an extraordinarily talented creative team: composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, playwright Arthur Laurents, and director and choreographer Jerome Robbins. According to Larry Stempel’s Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater, the production ushered in a new era by blurring the lines between musical theater and opera while adding social commentary to the mix.Showcasing what many consider to be Bernstein’s finest work, the musical also gave these legendary artists the opportunity to stretch themselves as never before. It was the first time that Sondheim ever wrote lyrics for a Broadway production; for Laurents, it was his first Broadway libretto.If the story line of forbidden love gone terribly awry sounds familiar, it should. “West Side Story” is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which tells of the tragedy ensnaring the romantically linked offspring of two feuding noble families, the Montagues and Capulets. Fast-forward another four centuries to the 1950s, and “West Side Story” is the urban version.Shakespeare’s portrayal of the intoxication and blind innocence of first love countered by senseless rivalry and the unceasing desire for revenge still rings true today. Under Igor Goldin’s masterful direction at the Engeman Theater, the cast brings this New Age Romeo and Juliet, this blend of light and dark, hope and heartache, comedy and despair, to glorious fruition.Set in a blue-collar neighborhood in the Upper West Side in 1957, the venue is far from pretty, yet this forsaken piece of turf bound by brick walls and chain-link fences is the subject of intense rivalry between two street gangs, the Jets, the established white ethnics, and the Sharks, the Puerto Rican newcomers.A dance at a local gymnasium brings the warring gangs together on what is supposedly neutral territory. As the Jets and Sharks assert their superiority by alternately usurping the dance floor, something magical happens. Amidst the whirlwind of frenetic movement, Tony, a Jet, and Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the Shark’s leader, spot each other from across the room and are drawn together like magnets. Both are immediately smitten, but Bernardo has brought Maria from Puerto Rico so she could marry his friend, Chico.While his friends are riveted in the gritty here and now, Tony, played by Zach Trimmer, is dreaming of a better life. Carl Sagan once spoke of the optimistic human belief that there is something marvelous around the corner yet undiscovered, a vision that Tony brings to life when he sings “Something’s Coming.”Later that night, Maria (Samantha Williams) stands on her tenement apartment’s fire escape with Tony below, and the chemistry is palpable. His serenade, “Tonight,” is a joyous prelude to the uncharted territory that is love. Young Williams’ mellifluous singing voice is astounding. Trimmer renders “Maria,” so tenderly that he makes it a fitting tribute to the transformative power of love.Shakespeare liked to alternate between moods in his plays, and “West Side Story” follows his lead, with romance giving way to comedy–before the tragedy you know is coming.In the sardonic song, “America,” Rosalia (Ashley Pérez Flanagan) extols the virtues of Puerto Rico, while the other Shark Girls–Bernardo’s girlfriend, Anita (Karli Dinardo), Francisca (Victoria Casillo) and Marguerita (Ashley Marinelli) counter with wisecracks. The girls are dressed in gorgeous jewel-toned dresses made for swirling and flaunting. The song is incredibly amusing; the dancing spectacular. It’s pure eye candy that delights the heart and the soul. Kudos to Tristan Raines for the costume design.What a cast! Dinardo excels as Anita, the worldly, “older” sister to Maria, who has just come to America and is inexperienced when it comes to the opposite sex. Their close relationship makes their final duet, “A Boy Like That/I Have a Love,” all the more bittersweet.Riff (Sam Wolf) and Bernardo (Nikko Kimzin) are both effectively commanding and conflicted in their roles as respective leaders of the Jets and Sharks who must decide the terms of the rumble that will settle the turf dispute once and for all.The action slowly builds momentum, with anticipation reaching its apex towards the end of Act I, when the whole company gathers to sing “Tonight.” Absolutely breathtaking, it is musical theater at its best.This show demands great choreography, and Jeffry Denman, assisted by Lauren Cannon, and assistant director/fight choreographer, Trey Compton, deliver it big time. Some of the finest dancing is showcased in “Somewhere,” a dreamy, wishful sequence in which Maria and Tony watch dancers dressed in white move blithely across the stage with joyous grace despite the rumble’s tragic ending. As Trimmer, Williams and company sing, Ashley Pérez Flanagan gives an outstanding solo that further lights up this poignant scene.Also worthy of mention is the hilarious song, “Gee, Officer Krupke,” featuring the well-choregraphed antics of Action (Scott Shedenhelm) and the rest of the Jets. In Act II, it offers needed comic relief as the world that these young adults know starts to spiral out of control.As always, the band at the Engeman, led by musical director James Olmstead on keyboard, is topnotch and does full justice to Bernstein’s musical genius. The music and lyrics linger on long after you leave the theater.“West Side Story” runs through November 8, but the popular show will likely sell out soon. The John W. Engeman Theater is located at 250 Main St., Northport. For more information, call (631) 261-2900 or by visit www.engemantheater.com.last_img read more

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Batesville Police Department officer announces retirement

first_imgBatesville, In. — Batesville Police Department Lt. Douglas M Wolfer will retire April 1 after more than 33 years in law enforcement.He started his law enforcement career in 1984 at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in the jail. He later attended the 85th session of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. In 1987 he started with the Brookville Police Department where he worked for approximately 8 years. He left Brookville with the rank of Sergeant when he was hired by the Batesville Police Department in 1995. He started as a patrolman and held the ranks of Corporal, Sergeant and the current rank of Lieutenant.He has been a certified instructor in psychomotor skills, generalist and firearms. He has served as a field training officer, accident investigator, breath test operator, managed patrol vehicle maintenance, and a procurement officer.The Batesville Police Department would like to thank him for his service and dedication and wish him the best in his retirement.last_img read more

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Big Data Consoladation Watch: Teradata Acquires AsterData

first_imgTags:#enterprise#news 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Today Teradata acquired fellow columnar database vendor AsterData for $263 million. This fits into the current trend of consolidation of next-generation data-warehousing vendors. Last summer, Teradata acquired another columnar database vendor called Kickfire. Also in the past year, EMC acquired Greenplum; IBM acquired Netezza; SAP acquired Sybase and HP acquired Vertica.For Briefings Direct, Tony Baer of Ovum writes that of the major platform companies, only Dell has yet to purchase a columnar database vendor.Although Teradata has historically been focused on business intelligence and data warehousing, Dennis Howlett speculates that Teradata could spin its business off into online transaction processing because it can offer solutions at a fraction of the cost of IBM and Oracle:Even when you take into account all the moving parts of a deal and the monetary tags that go with it, Teradata could chew off a big chunk of IBM and Oracle’s business and still profit handsomely. For companies looking at their total IT infrastructure cost landscape and already attempting to divest, Teradata could provide an intriguing possibility.Forrester analyst James Kobielus seems to agree. He wrote on Twitter: “AsterData gives Teradata the analytic application server (analytics + OLTP) they need to duke it out with Oracle Exadata.” However, he doesn’t mention it in his lengthy analysis of the deal.Regardless of where Teradata goes next, the big data is continuing to consolidate into the hand of a few large players. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair klint finleylast_img read more

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Attention all

first_imgAttention deficit disorder can lead to a lack of confidence. Parents must be patient and communicative to help the child overcome it. Vasantha R. Patri Chairperson, Indian institute of counseling, New DelhiChildren with an attention deficit disorder (ADD) are unable to respond suitably, particularly to academics or when given instructions.,Attention deficit disorder can lead to a lack of confidence. Parents must be patient and communicative to help the child overcome it.Vasantha R. Patri Chairperson, Indian institute of counseling, New DelhiChildren with an attention deficit disorder (ADD) are unable to respond suitably, particularly to academics or when given instructions. They are incapable of paying attention to an activity for long. This is a cognitive deficit due to which their performance goes down and they are unable to judge a situation in terms of its consequence. Such children may take decisions that may prove to be fatal at times. For example they may start walking on the roof without any support or open car door while it’s moving. It is very difficult to calm such kids and they are often seen running around or picking up unnecessary quarrels. They might be unable to sit at length, are often forgetful of their belongings and are not particularly organised. Parents should understand it is a neurological problem and cannot be curbed without proper care. They should organise everything for the child from text books to time-tables to cupboards, everything must be in order. They must be handled with care and patience. It is also necessary that if children start showing signs of disorder then they must be taken care of under close supervision. Their academic activities should be carried out in small chunks of time in order to sustain their interest in work. They must be involved in extra-curricular activities such as sports, games, music or working on the computer. Parents should be extremely patient and must put up with their behaviour calmly. Such children are likely to respond better to audio-visual mediums and these must be used as the medium of expression. Their poor school performance does not predict failure in life. Skills based on reading and writing need not be the only way to judge capabilities.Jyoti BosePrincipal, Springdales school, Dhaula Kuan, New DelhiWhen a child is restless or has problems concentrating in the class, he or she might be suffering from an attention deficit disorder (ADD). In such a situation the teachers identify them and advise further assessment. This includes an observant evaluation by psychologists and educationists which helps in identifying the problem and understanding its level. Many a times it is seen that even if they behave in a similar manner at home parents remain in constant denial. Parents should have a constant communication with their children, making it easier for them to share their problems and feelings. Parents must remember that children may have many issues during adolescence such as peer pressure and lack of interst in extra-curricular activities among others, but if parents and teachers work with each other on a one-on-one basis these can be solved. It is important for them to have an interaction with the teachers so that the children’s activities can be discussed at length. They must understand that attention deficit disorder is not permanent and can be defeated if dealt properly.Aruna Broota Clinical psychologist, New DelhiThere are two kinds of attention deficits. These can be attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sometimes both occur at the same time. Till date we do not know the reason behind it but it is not a complete neurological disorder.When a child has this problem, his or her brain remains underdeveloped and is unable to differentiate between a figure and a background. This is primarily due to lack of concentration. They cannot pin-point one structure but look through all that they see. For instance, the child may see a lamp in a room but will not be able to concentrate on it and not be able to identify the object. Ideally, the attention span of a child increases with age but such children cannot sustain their attention even when they grow up. They usually avoid eye contact and this makes it even more important for parents to be tolerant toward them. But if parents are unable to understand such behaviour they become punitive and start reprimanding the child. This may lead to a lack of confidence in the children. Parents can try different techniques such as talking to the child while looking into their eyes and politely asking them to respond similarly or they can try writing and reading exercises, asking the child to identify vowels and consonants. Such exercises would not only boost their confidence but also help parents in tackling the problem. Parents can also engage their children in vigilant tasks in the house and monitor the attention span. But remember to never shout at them. Involve them in creative endeavours. This will enhance their personality and make them more attentive.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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8 days agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer: Right call to offload Alexis and Lukaku

first_imgMan Utd boss Solskjaer: Right call to offload Alexis and Lukakuby Paul Vegas8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has no regrets offloading Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.He insists sending the pair to Inter Milan was the best decision for all concerned.Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “In one-off games, you think we could’ve had a number of extra players with experience. Alexis and Rom are goalscorers and good players, but at the moment, we made those decisions and they were the right decisions.”That’s the only way you’ve got to look at it. All the players here want to give everything for the club and for the shirt – that’s a big thing.”Every day that they come in training, and every day that they put the shirt on, they’re going to give everything that they have. So you can’t really say, ‘oh I wish I didn’t do that’.”Giving a couple of the lads the chance to show themselves, maybe it was a little bit too early for a few of them. But Mason Greenwood has stepped in and scored a couple in the midweek games, so it’s a great experience for them.”We know we haven’t had the results that we wanted, but I wouldn’t have kept the players we sold. It was the right decision.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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NY touts economic boom with South African photo

first_imgALBANY, N.Y. – A New York economic development agency report meant to show the state’s growth was illustrated with an 8-year-old photo showing construction cranes in South Africa.The Associated Press discovered the photo in this month’s report from Empire State Development. The photo, showing seven towering heavy-lift cranes being used to build a stadium in Cape Town for the 2010 soccer World Cup, is a cropped version of one owned by Getty Images, available for licensing on its website for up to $575.The photo apparently was used to give the impression of heavy construction activity in the state.Empire State Development said on Tuesday the photo was “a generic stock image” and will be replaced with an image of ongoing economic development in the state.“We thank the AP for bringing the matter to our attention,” the agency said.The gaffe comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs face questions over their effectiveness.Cuomo, a Democrat, said the programs have brought hundreds of thousands of jobs to the state. Critics, though, question those numbers along with the multibillion-dollar corporate incentives paid with taxpayer dollars.“Certainly sticking in construction cranes from half a world away isn’t going to build confidence in their credibility,” said E.J. McMahon, founder of the conservative Empire Center for Public Policy.The annual comprehensive report from Cuomo’s main economic development apparatus was mandated last year by the Legislature amid increased criticism of the governor’s efforts to boost business across the state, especially in distressed upstate areas. The report compiles the previous fiscal year’s statistics for each economic development program run by the agency. It wasn’t released until Feb. 5, 36 days after its Dec. 31 deadline.Included in its 127 pages of tables, charts and details of economic success stories are plenty of photos of people working at New York businesses and people visiting New York tourist attractions. Cuomo appears in several photos. Other images appear to be stock photos. None of the photos has a caption with specific information on it.The South Africa photo, taken from ground level looking up at the cranes set against a clear-blue sky, appears on Page 6 of the report. The next page features copy under the heading “Our Investment Strategies” overlaid on a second, less-defined photo of the cranes taken from a slightly different angle.Word of inclusion of the South Africa photos in a public state document came a day after the New York Post reported that the economic development agency approved a $1 million grant to Cadillac so the General Motors subsidiary could put it toward the $12.7 million renovation at its new Manhattan headquarters.Alex Camarda, a senior policy adviser at Reinvent Albany, a state government watchdog group, called the Cape Town cranes being passed off as New York economic activity “another example of a lack of transparency” by Cuomo’s economic development office.___This story has been corrected to show the report was issued this month, not last month.last_img read more

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Governance in reverse gear when Congress is in power Modi

first_imgJamui (Bihar): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress, saying governance goes into reverse gear when the grand old party and its allies are in power. Addressing an election rally in Jamui where LJP leader Chirag Paswan, son of party president Ram Vilas Paswan, is in the fray, Modi accused the Congress of having neglected B R Ambedkar like no other party did. He also claimed that his rivals were spreading the canard that the BJP, if voted to power again, will do away with reservations for the backward classes. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Governance goes into reverse gear when the Congress and its allies are in power. Terrorism, prices, violence, corruption, black money rise when Congress is in power; the country’s prosperity, its credibility, the morale of the armed forces, respect for honesty decline,” he said. He accused the Congress of having done everything to “defeat” Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution. “The Congress did everything possible to have Babasaheb defeated. It conspired to have his momory erased from the public mind. The ‘family’ remembered honouring its own members with Bharat Ratna but forgot Ambedkar,” the prime minister said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He said it was because of the BJP’s efforts that Ambedkar was bestowed the highest civilian award years after his death. Claiming that his detractors were spreading the rumour that the BJP will do away with quotas in government jobs and educational institutions if voted to power again, Modi declared, “Nobody can even touch reservations for the backward classes.” “We introduced 10 per cent quota for the economically backward people among the unreserved category…we did it without causing strife in society,” he said.last_img read more

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Congress dismantled idea of Narendra Modi Rahul Gandhi

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the Congress has managed to dismantle the idea of Narendra Modi in the past five years. He also mocked the prime minister for holding his first press conference just days before polling ends. BJP chief Amit Shah and Modi held a press conference at the party headquarters at the same time when Gandhi addressed the media at the Congress head office. “Why did the prime minister not accept my challenge for a debate on the Rafale issue,” asked Gandhi. Answering a question, he asserted that the philosophy of Shah and Modi cannot be the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi also said that the Election Commission’s role in these polls has been “biased” and it has issued orders keeping in mind Modi’s schedule.last_img read more

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