There are few people who have not heard of West Side Story. Telling the story of two rival gangs in the New York of the 1950's, it is the reincarnation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Over the years, it has been a favorite of many theater companies - both amateur and professional. In April 2001, the Cranford Repertory Theater of New Jersey joined the multitude with their own production of this classic. For several weeks, they became the Jets. They became the Sharks. They donned costumes and created a world that many who watched had lived through. There were shouts of joy, and tears of pain. There were all the elements that come together to make theater.

I have worked on many shows over the years, usually staring up at the cast from the pit behind a piano or some mess of keyboard equipment. There's the excitement when a theater company announces the show. Highs and lows of auditions. The thrill (and at times agony) of organizing an orchestra, props, costumes, and assistance. The pain of working through setbacks and the inevitable obstacles. Parts to learn, and cues which can't be forgotten. There's an amazing high that most I know get from being a performer, from creating something that affects another in some way. When I see an audience member react to what we're creating, I know we've done our job.

The last performance of a run is both the best and the worst. By that time, all of the kinks have been worked out and the show usually goes off with few problems. At the same time, it's the last time that the show will be performed during this run. There are pictures to remember everything by. There are even moments that each will treasure. For me, I love the camaraderie with both the actors and the orchestra. As a musician, what better to remember a performance by than a recording?

The last evening of the performance, a recording was made for for just that purpose; four tracks were recorded on a professional tape deck, and a CD was recorded directly from the sound board. Due to the technologies involved, the recordings are at slightly different speeds. After running the tracks through a computer with some audio software and hardware, things soon were in sync.

At the bottom of this page is a partial list of the songs from the show. The song titles with active links are .mp3s of the digitized recordings. I'll be updating this page with more recordings as I'm finished mixing them. Please be patient, as each mix takes time and effort! I won't bore you with technical details, but rest assured it's not plug-and-play!

So be patient, and check back soon!

(In Alphabetical order by character)

Action.... Eric Witkowski
Anita.... Michelle Mulvihill
Anybody's.... Katelyn Spinosa
A-Rab.... Kevin Kessler
Baby John.... Todd Wilson
Bernardo.... Javier Jimenez
Big Deal.... John Merkel
Chino.... Mike Sherry
Consuelo.... Cristina Jimenez
Diesel.... Patrick Bither
Doc.... Skip Shupp
Fransica.... Angela Billings
Glad-Hand.... Rod Belle
Graziella.... Emily Greenberg
Indio.... Matteo Guasconi
Krupke.... Brian Williams
Maria.... Vivian Kalugdan
Pepe.... Craig Smith
Riff.... Josh Lieberman
Rosalia.... Michelle Silva
Schrank.... Ed Wittel
Snowboy.... Teddy Alvaro
Teresita.... Samantha Dango
Tony.... Nathan Mello
Toro.... Tito Gonzales
Velma.... Jennifer Hanselman
Neighbor Kid.... Danny Clavin
Neighbor Kid.... Gregory Shapiro
Jet Girl.... Kristin Baldoni
Jet Girl.... Nartalie Castagno
Jet Girl.... Mamie Mamrak
Jet Girl.... Christine Petillo
Jet Girl.... Katie Piwowarczyk
Shark Girl.... Lauren Albert
Shark Girl.... Debra Celentano
Shark Girl.... Jenn Eisenberg
Shark Girl.... Gabriele Fazio
Shark Girl.... Elizabeth Lauterhahn
Shark Girl.... Kristen Lombardo
Shark Girl.... Loren Mazzarella
Shark Girl.... Stephanie Pearl
Shark Girl.... Rachel Sekinger
Shark Girl.... Bree Sherry
Shark Girl.... Karen Smorol

Directed by Arlene Ur-Britt
Choreography by Cindy Smith
Produced by Murray Rose
Produced by Stephen Solomon
Assistant Choreography by Kristin Baldoni
Costume Design by Terri Rodd
Lighting Design by Mark Reilly
Musical Direction by Ginger Haseldin
Set Designed by Anthony Smith
Properties by Robin Johnstone


Violin - Janise Griece / Alan Weakland
Woodwinds - Linda Koch, Ken Abbott, John Asti
Trumpet/brass - Fred Hendrix, Brian Woodward
Bass - Andy Rosciszewski
Synthesizer / keyboards - John Brixie
Percussion - Tony Capobianco

Cast Information courtesy of NJTheater.org



Technical information and details about the project and equipment:
  • Custom Built P4 2.4 GHz with 1GB RAM, running Windows XP Professional.
  • Cakewalk Sonar XL 4.0 for mixing and cleaning up the tracks.
  • M-Audio Delta 66 24-bit 96KHz Professional Audio interface to digitize the analog tracks.
  • AKG K141 Headphones for monitoring and mixing.
  • Gatorade, Animal crackers, and chocolate for nourishment.
  • Sony DVD/CD Writer to master the final CDs as well as archive raw Cakewalk files.
  • A Tascam 8-track casette recorder (don't ask me the model - all I know is that it's an old workhorse!) used to record the orchestra to 4 tracks. Thanks to Ronnie for the recording engineering on this one.
  • A Phillips CDR-765 to create CD masters directly from the sound board. (Thanks to Freddie for this CDR info)
Last updated: Dec 2008