A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
West Side Story on Broadway at Playhouse Square
So I know that this is a film blog, but for as long as I can remember I have loved West Side Story. So towards the end of last year, when I heard it was coming to the Palace Theater I knew I had to be in attendance, and when I finally saw it performed it was such a wonderful experience that I wanted to at least share the experience in my blog. West Side Story is the work of Arthur Laurents (who wrote the script and passed away just this past week), Leonard Bernstein (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), and Jerome Robbins (choreography) and transplants the story of Romeo and Juliet to late 1950s New York City where it is set among rival American and Puerto Rico street gangs. Many are probably familiar with the beloved 1960 motion picture but to see it on the stage is a unique experience entirely. Everything about it is wonderful, the music, the acting, the singing, but I think the real star has to be Robbins' dance sequences (the dance at the gym was probably my favorite). Then there are the musical numbers, the best being Tonight, Gee, Officer Krupke (surprisingly crude), and The Quintet (I was a little disappointed that The Sharks do not take part in the America number). I was also surprised how much Spanish is used in the performance. On top of all the great music and dancing, the tragic story still has the power to move you. Seeing West Side Story performed live was a rare treat. I don't get out to the theater often which I assume most of you don't either, but I urge you not to let your chance to see this wonder of a play pass you by.