St. Charles, Geneva dancers to star in Beth Fowler production of ‘West Side Story and More’

Shows run June 9 to 11 at Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb

The Beth Fowler Dance Company performing a scene from "West Side Story."

The Beth Fowler Dance Company and Beth Fowler School of Dance will close its 2022-23 season with a performance of “West Side Story and More.” Two Tri-Cities dancers portray the star-crossed lovers.

The performances will begin at 7 p.m. June 9 and 10, and at 2 p.m. June 10 and 11 at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., DeKalb, according to a news release.

The high-energy, family-friendly show, inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” will take audiences onto the streets of New York City in the 1950s, in this recounting of rival street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. Former Jets member Tony falls in love with Maria, the sister of Sharks leader Bernardo. Amid the gang tensions, the two fight to find a way to be together even as those closest to them threaten to rip them apart.

The lead roles of Maria and Tony will be danced by two longtime Beth Fowler Dance Company veterans, who will be taking their final bows as seniors graduating from both high school and the company.

Clara Owen, of St. Charles, will portray Maria. During her tenure with the Fowler Dance Company, Owen has taken on a number of iconic roles, recently including Clara and the Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker” and Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin” in “A Storybook Ballet.”

“Getting Maria is amazing,” Owen said. “I think it’s pretty exciting, as Maria is a great senior-year role.”

Owen will partner on stage with Brady McCue, of Geneva, who will dance the role of Tony.

This past year, McCue has shined on stage, taking leading roles in “The Nutcracker” and in “A Storybook Ballet,” including the role of Aladdin.

McCue said he was “grateful” to receive the role of Tony, whom he described as a “flawed hero.”

“When I found out I was cast as Tony, I watched the movie production, which made me even more excited to play the role,” McCue said. “There was always drama surrounding him.”

Both Owen and McCue said audiences should expect outstanding, passionate performances.

“I’m excited for the future, but I know the shows will be full of emotions, because it’s the last time seeing everyone,” Owen said.

“It allows me to be on stage one last time with the company, doing what I love,” McCue said. “I can’t wait for everyone to see the show.”

The Beth Fowler production features music from the 1961 film adaptation of the Broadway show. The performance is choreographed by Anna Nolazco, Rachael Kollins-Merchut, Jennifer Flatland, Brooke Fowler and Tamera Newquist.

Tickets cost $24 for adults, and $15 for children ages 4 to 12; they are free for children ages 3 and younger. Children’s tickets include an invitation to meet the dancers after the show.

To buy tickets, go to or visit or call the box office at 815-758-1225.