Hi All,<P>Just wanted to pass on my impressions of the wonderful show my wife and I attended last night. Here ya go...<P>Every once in a while a local production makes you ask yourself why it wasn't playing more nights or even touring the country so more people could enjoy it. That was my thoughts last night after attending the opening night of West Side Story produced by The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. The individual performances, direction, wonderful choreography, set design, lighting, costumes and the full orchestra all excelled at making it an outstanding evening at the Lincoln Theater.<P>This is their first all school production, and if this is any indication of the quality of their work, I hope they continue the practice. The strong cast of 51 made the evening fly by as the tragedy of Tony and Maria's love story was deftly told. Every scene and dance was memorable. However, particular mention must be given to Leigh Spofford whose beautiful voice and portrayal of Maria led the list of great performances by the talented cast. Carey Brown (Anita), Richard Barth (Tony), and Ricky Oliver (Action) also stand out. But you can't easily forget Mary-Ellen Hickey (Anybodys) or the rest of the cast either. They were all strong. Guiding the cast, director Rob Ruggiero and choreography Ralph Perkins blended their craft perfectly.<P>An indication of the success of the production was quite evident when during the finale, as Maria was softly singing over Tony's mortally wounded body, amidst the somber silence of the moment, sniffles could be heard wafting through the audience. My wife even noticed the young student sitting next to her quickly wiping tears from his eyes hoping he wouldn't be noticed. That my friends, is when you know the production "smacked one out of the park".<P>The bottom-line from my viewpoint? It was a wonderful production that rivals many a professional road show I've seen at Hartford's Bushnell Theater and I'm sure Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein were both looking down and smiling. It's a show I'm glad I didn't miss.