phoenix west side 1

phoenix west side 1PHOTO:  Christa Dalmazio of Leonardo and Mason Kugelman of Rumson star as Maria and Tony in the revival of the timeless musical West Side Story , coming to the Count Basie Theatre beginning July 14th.

RED BANK, NJ – Leonardo resident Christa Dalmazio will be playing a lead role in Phoenix Productions’ upcoming July revival of West Side Story. This show will take place at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a two-weekend run beginning July 14th.


Christa is a long-time resident of the Leonardo community. She is an alumna of the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, and went on to obtain a Bachelors of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree while working as a Resident Assistant.

Christa makes her Phoenix debut with this production, but is no stranger to the stage. She works as a professional opera singer, piano, and vocal instructor. Audiences may have spotted her singing at Christ Church in New York City and Trinity Church in Neptune, NJ, or performing with Concordia Vocal Academy in Belford, NJ, and Westminster Choir’s summer program! Christa also regularly brings solo recitals of opera, classical music, and more to Ocean County Public Library. In New York City, she recently performed in Ami and Tami, an immersive musical fable based on Hansel and Gretel with Floating Tower, a cross-cultural music and theatre company. She has plans to graduate with her Master’s and embark on an audition tour in Europe and opera houses in Germany, with the hope to instill the ideal to bring honest acting work into operatic singing.

In West Side Story, Christa plays Maria, the hopeless romantic and innocent girl that falls in love with Tony and finds herself at the center of a violent conflict between the two gangs. “Maria is naive to the cultural differences and doesn’t understand the high stakes tension,” explains Christa. “The dance at the gym is her introduction to America, and she is excited because she believes she can knows more about the world despite her lack of life experience. Her young hope and desire of freedom lead her to fall for Tony, and she genuinely cannot understand why her connection with an American is a bad thing.”

phoenix west side 2PHOTO:  Alicia Dishon of Toms River, Matthew Giove of Hazlet, Christa Dalmazio of Leonardo, and Mason Kugelman of Rumson star as Anita, Bernardo, Maria, and Tony in West Side Story , coming to the Count Basie Theatre beginning July 14th.

The production boasts the strong and still-relevant message of cultural inclusivity and what it means to search for and preserve the American Dream. “The Upper West Side of New York was home to 47,000 Puerto Ricans,” Christa remarks. “Though there is improvement and attempts by areas of U.S. to not look at color and background, there are always some people that judge by appearance or those involved with a certain demographic. West Side Story holds a good message about not judging by living where they’re from and to give someone a chance.”

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs. The “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice in a musical considered one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and continually relevant musical dramas of our time. Timeless songs such as “Tonight”, “Maria”, “America”, and “Somewhere” composed by Leonard Bernstein, together with the haunting and deeply moving story, make this a classic masterpiece. To this day, West Side Story is the undisputed Number 1 of American musical theatre: daring, realistic, and as relevant as it was on the day of its premiere.

Phoenix’s revival brings this classic story to life on the Count Basie stage, with sets, costumes, and a live orchestra. Performances of West Side Story will begin July 14th for a two-weekend run concluding on July 23rd. Friday and Saturday night performances begin at 8pm, and Sunday matinee performances begin at 3pm. Tickets are available at the Count Basie Theatre Box Office and can be purchased in person at 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, N.J, by phone at 732-842-9000, or online at .

Phoenix Productions is a Red Bank based non-profit community theatre organization that has produced more than a hundred full-scale revivals of Broadway musicals since 1988. For more information on Phoenix Productions or upcoming shows, please visit


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...