West Side curtain falls on Langley

Enrique Garcia will star as Nibbles in the Royal City Muscial Theatre’s spring production of West Side Story.  - John GORDON/Langley  Times
Enrique Garcia will star as Nibbles in the Royal City Muscial Theatre’s spring production of West Side Story.
— image credit: John GORDON/Langley Times

A love of performing and a passion to inspire people has helped one Langley teen land a role in the upcoming production of the Broadway classic West Side Story.

Enrique Garcia, a Grade 11 student at H.D. Stafford Secondary, was shocked to learn he had been cast as Nibbles in the Royal City Musical Theatre’s spring production.

After a week of waiting, he finally heard from the casting director on Thanksgiving morning.

“I had no experience so I was happy,” he said.

Everyone is excited for him and many been showing their support.

Even Stafford has announced that it will provide a field trip for the fine arts department to watch the show.

Rehearsals for the show began Nov.4 and so far Garcia says the focus is harmonizing.

“Here [at school] a bunch of us try to get the notes, but there everyone knows music,” he said, explaining the difference in atmospheres.

Currently rehearsals are once a week, jumping to three times a week come January, but the 16-year-old is not too worried about managing his schedule.

“I enjoy rehearsals so I won’t find it difficult,” said Garcia, who is the youngest cast member.

He began performing in elementary school plays but it wasn’t until Grade 8 theatre class that he saw it as something he wanted to do.

It was then that he started enjoying performing and taking it seriously.

He admits that when he entered the program at Stafford he was quite shy, but through entertaining, he has found an outlet which has boosted his confidence.

“The program has helped me a lot. It has taught me about the confidence within me and to be happy to be myself and that I can do the things I want to.”

However, even with this new-found confidence, he admits he still gets nervous before going on stage.

But once the curtain goes up and he starts performing his nerves are lost in the act of putting on a good show.

When he sings, Garcia feels he captures the audience but it is the applause at the end that makes him feel good.

He hopes this breakthrough into musical theatre will help him find an agent and give him an opportunity to further his career.

“I’m learning a lot of things starting young. I’m glad I’ve decided to start early.”

Although Garcia says he really enjoys theatre, in the future he would also like to work in film. He would also like to pursue his music passion by recording an English and Spanish album.

One of his biggest role models in music today is Josh Groban, someone who really inspires him to try harder.

“The way he captures everybody makes me want to do the same,”he explained.

“I like to inspire people when I’m singing, especially my mom who is a big support.”

West Side Story takes to the stage at the Massey Theatre from April 10 to April 26, with evening performances Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as 2 p.m. matinees on April 13, April 19, April 20 and April 26.

Tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster Dec. 1.

For more information about the production visit www.royalcitymusicaltheatre.com.

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