Search
Close this search box.

Wendy Raquel Robinson and Amazing Grace Conservatory Presents ‘Our Westside Story’

our westside story - poster

*The Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC) will present their adaptation of an American musical classic entitled, “Our Westside Story” on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Little Theatre located at Los Angeles Southwest College at 1600 W. Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA 90047.

Award-winning actress, director, producer and co-founder of AGC, Wendy Raquel Robinson recently spoke with the Los Angeles Sentinel about the production and its relevance today.

“What makes it ‘Our Westside Story’ is that we are adding that soulful element, using the muse of the Five Heartbeats as an impulse for the Jets and keeping the integrity of the Sharks in fighting for classism and a place in America—where we are right now, all of the parallels and the symbolism, even with the gang violence, it’s still a very relevant situation,” said Robinson.

AGC previously did two productions of “Westside Story” in 1999 and 2010. This stage play is being directed by original cast members from the 1999 and 2010 stage productions along with Robinson, who has choregraphed the scene for “America.”

“We’re all directing,” said Robinson. “We’re keeping in its original intent, set in the 1950s.”

Robinson continued, “We’re putting our spin on it and from those perspectives of cast members, who were in the show, that were also students of Amazing Grace and now professional working alumni, coming back to teach and direct, is a full 360.”

Inspired by Romeo & Juliet, “Our Westside Story” is a musical which tells a love story set to the background of 1950s Harlem. On the harsh streets of the Upper West Side, two gangs battle for control of one turf, however, the situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister.

MEAGAN GOOD & MICHAEL EALY SPEAK ON ‘THE INTRUDER,’ FAMILY, COOKING SKILLS & MORE (EUR EXCLUSIVE)

wendy raquel robinson
Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC) co-founder Wendy Raquel Robinson

Robinson has added a twist with AGC’s production. “We’ve added a whole new song,” said Robinson. “The director, Alfred Jackson, felt like there was no redeeming qualities for the Sharks, they had no voice afterwards, it was all about the Jets and how they;re going to come back after the Sharks.

“So, there’s an original song in honor of Bernardo, so we added an original song and an original scene that is about [Bernardo], ‘Mi Hermano.’ “And it’s all in Spanish and we have a primarily African American cast, so we’re taking on that nuance. Being that Los Angeles is a melting pot, I think that is quite interesting as well. I’m really proud of that, so we did take the liberty in adding that.”

“Our Westside Story” tweaks the classic American musical to profile African-American culture with a blend of Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban cultures, to tackle societal issues that both communities continue to face today such as assimilation, gang culture, and more importantly, racial profiling “in the midst of everything that’s happening with South [Los Angeles], Nipsey Hussle and all of that,” added Robinson.

Alfred Jackson (“Book of Mormon,” “Solid Gold Motown”, “Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror”, “Recorded in Hollywood,” “Rent”, “Glee”) and Gerald Evans (“Medea”, “The Typist,” “Ray & Sons,” “Sister Act 2,” “The Grinch,” “Westside Story,” “In the Blood”) are making their directorial debuts for this AGC production. Robinson states the torch is being passed to Jackson and Evans, who have both come full circle in their journeys from student to staff. They were both in previous AGC productions of “Westside Story”. Today, they have successful careers in the entertainment industry and have returned to their training ground to give back to the community.

“We have two different shows within on weekend of theater,” said Robinson. “My younger ones, my 8-to-12-year-olds are doing ‘Our Side of the Story’ which takes a whole other look on ‘Westside,’ keeping some of the music but also adding a present-day feel to it.”

“So, we’re keeping ‘Westside Story’ and its original content for my 12-to-18-year-olds and that’s ‘Our Westside Story’ and for my little ones, we’re doing a special matinee more intended for our younger audience where it’s about bullying and a dance battle.”

“Our Westside Story” takes place at the Little Theater at Los Angeles Southwest College, Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. with a special presentation of the Junior showcase, ‘Our Side of the Story,’ on Sunday, May 19 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Don’t miss Amazing Grace Conservatory’s “Our Westside Story”, a musical journey filled with incredible music, captivating dance performances, and a sizzling cast of L.A.’s most talented youth ages 8 to 18 years.

Tickets are on sale now at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4210360. $40 for the VIP Experience and $25 in advance and $20 for groups of 20 or more. For more information, please call (323) 732-4283 or visit the website, https://amazinggraceconservatory.org/

Click on the video below to learn more about Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

source:
S. Thurmond-PPR
[email protected]

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!

Shannon Sharpe and Meagan Good - via Club Shay Shay
Gary Miles - mugshot (Philadelphia Police Dept)
Tam's Burgers - DJ Mustard and Kendrick Lamar (screenshot)
Meagan Good Jonathan Majors (photo by Joshua Washington of jwashphoto.com)
Diddy goes white water rafting - screenshot
Frankie Beverly stands alongside Mayor Cherelle Parker and Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts / Photo: KDMorris
Jody Watley at Wolftrap
Bronny James (Brian Rothmuller-Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Joshua Pippens - Instagram screenshot
Actress Claudia Jordan
Shannon Sharpe and Meagan Good - via Club Shay Shay
Read More
Gary Miles - mugshot (Philadelphia Police Dept)
Read More
Keke Jabbar - Instagram screenshot
Read More
KeKe Jabbar
Read More
Bronny James (Sam Forencich-NBAE-Getty Images)
Read More
D’Vontaye Mitchell
Read More
Kadia Iman in scuffle with white educator during graduation ceremony
Read More
Serena Williams at 2024 Espys - screenshot
Read More
Hurricane Beryl power outtage (Adrees Latif-Reuters via CNN Newsource)
Read More
Kyrie Irving
Read More

POPULAR

Reasonable Doubt Hulu series
Hulu Drops Trailer for Season 2 of Hit Legal Drama 'Reasonable Doubt'
Tracey Kemble
Hidden Empire Films Hires Tracey L. Kemble As Head of Film Production
Joe Biden & Barack Obama
'Morning Joe' Claims Barack Obama Secretly Undermining Biden's Campaign
Tanya Nolan - screenshot
Tanya Nolan Releases 'Honey (Soulpersona Raregroove Remix)' Video | WATCH
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock - Getty
Will Smith Appeals to Oscar Officials for Reinstatement After 10-Year Ban Following Chris Rock Slap
D’Vontaye Mitchell
Murder Charges Referred in D’Vontaye Mitchell's Hotel Death | Video
Michael Jordan Air Jordans 1998 sale (Don Grayston-NBAE-Getty Images)
John Stockton dismisses Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant as the Greatest of All Time
Tyler Perry - GettyImages
Tyler Perry Supports BET Sale Led by CEO Scott Mills
Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving Declines Celebrity Hall Pass, Affirms Love for Wife and Kids
1 2 3 8,181