This past weekend, my wife and I were able to attend no less than two play premiers. First was the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival's little known -but very enjoyable comedy- "The Gamester" (reviewed earlier). The second premier was the extremely well-known drama "West Side Story" by the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts.

West Side Story PosterThis premier of West Side Story was fantastic. A few months ago, I spoke briefly with one of the actors that appears in the play - the locally very popular George Walker. (He often performs at The Great American Melodrama near Pismo Beach, where we saw him.)

George mentioned that during the summer he was going to perform at the PCPA in "West Side Story" in the role of Bernardo, Maria's brother. When I flippantly commented that hopefully he did realize that Bernardo gets killed, George replied "Yeah, but I get some great dance performances before then".

George is absolutely correct. The dance performances are indeed great, the acting is wonderful and the singing marvelous. Even though I have seen the movie several times, how can you not enjoy an excellently performed play that has such masterpiece songs as "Something's Coming", "Maria" and "Tonight" - among many other standards.

House Keeping Details: West Side Story will be performed (indoors) in Santa Maria between July 9 and July 25. It will then be performed outdoors in Solvang from July 30 - August 22. Reservations are advised in order to get the best seats. (My wife and I were in the third row center, effectively looking at the actors in the face.)

George Walker in West Side Story (George Walker - in red shirt- as Bernardo.)