DERRY — It’s the classic tale of boy meets girl but with an inner-city, turbulent twist.
Kids Coop Theatre presents the famed musical “West Side Story” July 25 at 7 p.m., July 26 at 1 and 7 p.m., and July 27 at 1 p.m. at the Derry Opera House, 28 West Broadway.
The show brings the story of Tony and Maria to life amid the backdrop of the Sharks/Jets rivalry.
The cast includes dozens of youngsters representing towns all over Southern New Hampshire, bringing the tale of the Sharks and Jets to life on the stage.
Taking the role of Maria is 14-year-old Nicole Delpidio of Derry. She said one of her favorite things about the show is learning all the popular songs like “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty.
Although Nicole is no stranger to the stage, this is her first show with Kids Coop.
Maria’s star-crossed boyfriend Tony is played by Kids Coop veteran Michael DeRosa, 17, of Londonderry. This is his 16th show. He said being involved with the theater group has helped him make many lasting friendships through the years.
He said playing Tony has been a great experience.
“The choreography, the music, and becoming who the character is, it’s been fun,” he said.
Other key roles are played by Sam Boyle, 16, as Riff; Nathan Vinson, 17, of Derry playing Bernardo; and Ryan Geary, 13, of Derry taking on the role of Officer Krupke.
Sam has been in 12 shows and said playing Riff has helped him improve his skills.
“My favorite part of this show is the combination of singing and dancing,” he said. “It’s great to have a challenging role that is also fun.”
Others credited the Kids Coop philosophy for bringing in youth actors from many towns to join in for community theater. This organization is one of the oldest youth groups in the region.