Thursday, November 15, 2007

West Side Story- 11/16/07

When people think of gang violence, what rarely comes to mind is dancing. But in the case of West Side Story, the two are tied together as one.

The Edina High School performance of the musical, West Side Story, runs from Nov. 1-10. The musical is a modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story is about love and the things that prevent it, in the sad tale of two young adults named Tony and Maria.

“Wait until you see those kids move,” said Mr. Tony Matthes, who directs the play and teaches theatre classes at Edina High School. “It hasn’t been easy trying to get 60 cast members, 15 crew, and 25 pit people together and on the same page, learning the dance.”

Though unhappiness and tragedy strike the characters in the musical, that is anything but the reaction of the audience.

“[West Side Story] is different from how we did Les Miserables, which was all singing, this is more of a dancing musical, an acting musical,” said Luke Randall, who played a Jet named A-rab and is Thespian Club Vice President.

Matthes said the dancing has been the most challenging factor in putting the musical together.

The choreography was put together by a number of people including Greg Joelson, Jessica Froehlich, Jolene Konkel, and a number of students.

“Let the choreography tell the story, let the dance tell the story,” Matthes said. “The commitment of these kids has been amazing, they’ve been coming in for play practice six days a week for 10 weeks.”

Another quality of the musical is it features the original choreography found in the movie and the Broadway productions.

“Trying to do the original Jerome Robbins choreography with non-professional dancers, in only months, to do dancing that Broadway dancers do, was a definite obstacle,” said Ms. Jessica Froehlich, a choreographer and English teacher. “We got the original manual of Jerome Robbins with the original choreography in it, we also used the film which was a great resource.”

Even the idea of a show told only through dance is new. “I’ve never done a show that’s specifically told through dance,” Matthes said. “[West Side Story] has it’s obvious message in it, violence, which has an effect on all of society. We’re doing this play in honor of musical theatre, the references to Romeo and Juliet still hold true today”.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


MNDOT introduces the initial designs for new I-35W bridge: This article has a couple of initial issues. First of all the title is a bit too long, especially for the cover story. Usually those leading articles have snappy, clever, quick, and to the point title. Another thing is that the story was all about whether people liked or didn't like the new bridge designs, which I don't know if is okay or not, but the title didn't really reflect the angle of it at all. Another potential problem is that it seemed like they were trying to convey the opinions of everyone through a couple of quotes from 3 people, which just seems like they were trying to do some sort of poll. But on a more positive note, the writer did get amazing quotes from people, like Linda Figg. Also the article had a great lede and nut graf, and seemed very well written in general.
Lend a hand this Thanksgiving: Hundreds of Edina citizens rely on food shelves for their meals: First of all this title is WAY too long! They could have easily shortened that and made it somewhat creative. Also right off the bat they were wrong! VEAP doesn't stand for Volunteers Enlisted to Help People, its Volunteers Enlisted to AIDE People!! That is just a careless mistake that seems weird to not be able to catch, the acronym even is repeated FIVE times and obviously is V-E-A-P! And its a front page story, so that one should have been more closely edited, but I guess you can't always catch every mistake every time. That's credibility that's lost there though. A positive thing about this article is that it is even on the front page, to me that is gatekeeping at its best. Another thing is that, reading this article, I still don't understand why churches are done with donations for the season, when it is right before the holidays. The way that the story explains the situation doesn't make enough sense. Also she is missing the most important angle of this article that makes it significant! She doesn't explain how to get involved and help contribute until the very end of the story, which is what makes this story important.
Classes give gender break: First of all the title is perfect, short, comprehensive, very good! Over all this is a great article! No complaints! The idea is very interesting, great timeliness, proximity, etc. Also the lede and nut graf are extremely comprehensive and don't leave the reader with remaining questions. Also the quotes are great! They are insightful and offer additional insight that is very interesting. If there is anything wrong with it I would say that this story should have made it to the second page, not the third. But over all very well written, no mistakes, and very interesting.
The Sensual Confessions of a Teenage Zephyrus Date: I do not understand at all this segment. I don't get why its even there at all except that it was a bad attempt at being funny. This lacks every element except maybe proximity, but I don't even know what it is, it isn't a comic strip, its not a story, its not anything, its not even interesting. Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it at all, why would they document a fake date, why would anyone care? There is no prominence, which is what this story needed, we needed to care who is in this for it to have some kind of substance. This should not have made it to the third page if at all.