Sunday, March 8, 2009

WEST SIDE STORY Broadway Revival


Video posted by photoggirl

Last Saturday, I attended the matinee performance of the new Broadway revival of the landmark musical WEST SIDE STORY at the Palace Theatre. This new revival is directed by two-time Tony Award winning librettist ARTHUR LAURENTS. The show transports Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the turbulent gang-ridden streets of the Upper West Side in 1950's New York City. Two star-crossed teen lovers, Tony (played by MATT CAVENAUGH) and Maria (JOSEFINA SCAGLIONE), find themselves caught between the rival street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the Puerto Rican Sharks versus the Anglo Jets. Tony and Maria are torn between ethnic loyalty and their intense love for one another. The Leonard Bernstein (music)-Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) score includes memorable songs like "Tonight," "Somewhere," "Maria," "I Have a Love" and "Something's Coming." The original Jerome Robbins choreography is retooled by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely. This wonderful production boasts a huge onstage cast. In this revival, Spanish is selectively woven throughout the dialogue and songs. The song "I Feel Pretty" is sung in Spanish in its entirety. I think that this idea really worked in conveying the authenticity of the story. I guess familiarity with this classic will not make the audience clamor for subtitles. In Argentina native JOSEFINA SCAGLIONE, a star is born. She has a beautiful singing voice and has a strong presence on stage. Although MATT CAVENAUGH is a little old for the role, he too has a great voice and I enjoyed his interpretation. But KAREN OLIVO's performance as Anita in my opinion can be be singled out as the most genuine. A compelling actress, she shines in her acting, singing and dancing. There were memorable dance numbers beautifully executed by CODY GREEN and the ensemble cast. Although the scenic and lighting designs did not show anything unique and extraordinary, this revival for me is worth seeing again. If you're visiting New York and planning to see a Broadway show, see West Side Story. Reserve your tickets...TONIGHT! (as the ad goes).
WEST SIDE STORY is now in previews and is doing quite well at the box office. It plays the Palace Theatre which is located at 1564 Broadway. The show officially opens on March 19.
I made the images of some cast members at the stage door yesterday, March 7 as they sign autographs after the performance.


Anonymous said...

It's not Cody Green that you should have photographed but that dance demon Ryan Steele, who slays them all.

jerseygirlkaren said...

I also saw West Side Story in previews and it was a dream come true for me. It has always been my favorite musical and the Bernstein/Sondheim score is unsurpassed. I agree that Karen Olivo's performance as Anita was amazing! I hope she is nominated for a Tony.

Anonymous said...

I went with my sons to see the show yesterday and loved it - however, I was put off by the combination of the Spanish and English. I know the show almost word for word but it was the first time for them and they found it difficult to follow when all of a sudden the conversation switched to a language they didn't understand. I get that it may make it more authentic but it did lose their interest at those times. I Feel Pretty was cute in Spanish but A Boy Like That is such a powerful number and they just didn't get it for the most part . Unfortunate.