DETROIT (WWJ) – The award winning adaptation of the romantic tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” comes to the Wharton Center in East Lansing Tuesday.

West Side Story is a musical about two youngsters, Tony and Maria, from rival New York City gangs who fall in love.

Nathan Keen, originally from Birmingham, Michigan, plays Big Deal, a member of the “Jets,” Tony’s gang.

And he says although it’s not a major part, he plays an important role in the story.

“Without the gangs, Tony and Maria could fall in love and live happily every after and it would be a wonderful, wonderful story. But you throw the gangs in there and they’re what get in the way. We’re that thing that makes their love impossible,” said Keen.

Keen tells WWJ he’s happy to be back in Michigan for the performance in East Lansing.

“After over a year of living in hotels and apartments and changing cities sometimes every week and time zones, I’m definitely looking forward to being home and getting to see friends, sleep in my own bed, and have a home-cooked meal and spend some time with my family,” said Keen.

West Side Story opens Tuesday and runs through November 13.

Click here for show times and tickets.


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