The highly anticipated local production of West Side story opens at Artscape Opera House on Thursday. Presented by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, West Side story, by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim, based on an original conception of Jerome Robbins, will be staged until Sunday 23 August.This version will be directed by Matthew Wild, with musical direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and choreography by Louisa Talbot, the Fugard Theatre team that brought audiences the sell out seasons of The Rocky horror show and Cabaret.The show features a cast of 40 and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charl-Johan. The story, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York in the mid-1950s. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of different backgrounds. The members of the Sharks are taunted by the Jets. The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The powerful all local cast will be led by South African theatre stars Jonathan Roxmouth as Tony, Lynelle Kenned as Maria, Bianca le Grange as Anita, Christopher Jaftha as Bernardo and Daniel Buys as Action. V West Side story will be performed from Tuesdays to Fridays at 20:00, on Saturdays at 16:00 and 20:00 and on Sundays at 14:00 and 18:00. Tickets cost from R95 to R400 through Computicket or the Artscape box office on 021 421 7695.