March 6, 2016

The headlong energy of youth was on ample — no, make that spectacular — display over the weekend in Maspeth, Queens, at the Knockdown Center, a former factory where a wonderfully energized, energizing production of “West Side Story” was presented for just three performances, under the auspices of Carnegie Hall and the Weill Music Institute. A culmination of the Somewhere Project, a citywide exploration of that classic 1957 musical that began in January, the production mixed professional actors with 15 high-school-aged apprentices in the cast, supplemented by a whopping chorus of 200 high school singers from 26 schools representing all five boroughs. Conducting the lush 40-piece orchestra was the eminent Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who was once a protégée of Leonard Bernstein, the composer of “West Side Story,” of course.