Wednesday, January 20, 2010

West Side Story

What is more New York then West Side Story. With a Musical based on Shakespeare and set in the Upper West Side with music by Leonard Bernstein, how could you go wrong? This is a love story surrounded by a gang rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, much like Romeo and Juliet. The new Broadway revival of West Side Story is quite different from the original, this is the first to introduce the element of authenticity with Spanish added throughout the songs. On the other hand it is quite true to the original by using choreography of late director Jerome Robbins restaged by Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life). All this directed by Arthur Laurents, the original author of the book. This is running at the Palace Theatre located in Times Square at 1564 Broadway. After seeing this on stage one can see why it was so controversial at the time of its first release. On top of the violence, they used lots of 50's slang like "daddy-o", they even had to make up fake swear words. The best part of the show is how well the dance fits the music. The Movie makes you cry but this production does not become that emotional. You don't feel as much for the lovers and as you do for some of the other parts. Its hard to get the chemistry that Richard Beymer had with Natalie Wood. The Spanish made the stage feel more like Spanish Harlem. Worth every penny to go out on the town and see a homegrown story on the bright Broadway.

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