Contini performs at Des Moines Playhouse

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Countdown to Prom

by Mia Burns

Having performed in plays since eighth grade, choir director Mr. Rocco Contini is back at it again performing West Side Story at the Des Moines Playhouse.

“I started performing in plays in eighth grade. We did a production of Annie Jr., and my choir director made me do it because I was the only boy that could hit the high note well,” he said. “I was kind of just thrown into it and didn’t really want to, but then after I was in it, I was like ‘oh that was kind of fun, so I’m going to keep doing this.’”

After his eighth grade year, he continued doing plays through his high school and college careers and now continues to perform in plays in the community. This will be his second time preforming at the Des Moines Playhouse.

“It [West Side Story] is a ‘modern day’ version of Romeo and Juliet. Instead of feuding families, it’s feuding gangs of different races.”

To get this part, Contini had to audition back in May.

“I auditioned and got the role of Tony, who is the Romeo character, so I’m like the lead guy. There are two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, and he [Tony] is the ex-leader of the Jets. He doesn’t want to be a gang member anymore, but he kind of gets pulled back into it. That’s when he meets his Juliet named Maria.” 

Contini is most excited about this musical because he says that the music is outstanding.

“Most people usually say that musically, it is awesome,” Contini said.

If you haven’t seen this musical yet, it is being shown until Oct. 30 at the Des Moines Playhouse.