To the editor:
Once again, the Lawrence Arts Center and the Summer Youth Theater directed by Ric Averill in their masterful production of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” of the middle of the 20th century have brought us to consider universal thoughts in our century.
We were swept away by the entire cast performing as an ensemble, now acting, now dancing, now singing, now quickening in each member of the audience now this, now that memory that brought tears to our eyes and chuckles in our chests. Our enthusiastic standing ovation was an embrace to you all.
“West Side Story” is one more wrenching story of our collective inhumanity one to another, perhaps even back to prehistoric times. How not to think of the senseless oppositions of Jets and Sharks, Donkeys and Elephants, and yet a strong Maria rising out of the shambles brought about by the clash between “opposing houses.”
How not to experience, through your beautiful and moving performances, what folks felt in our sister city in Greece several thousand years ago in a large stone theater under the constant blaze of the sun and saw through tears what Aristotle calls a cleansing of the soul or “catharsis.” We will remember you and we look forward to what you will become.