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#ICastIt: ‘West Side Story’ Takes a ‘Cool’ Turn in Today’s America

VPAC (Valley Performing Arts Center) and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts are teaming up again following the success of last year’s “Dreamgirls” to bring a reconceived production of “West Side Story” to Los Angeles.

But don’t expect to see a cast of mid-30s actors dancing ballet. When the show came up, director Richard Israel told producers he wanted to take "a really different look at it...” One notable change is the dancing: “it’s period appropriate street dance,” Israel explains.
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A brilliant 'West Side Story' at Casa Manana, still heartbreakingly relevant

Written by Nancy Churnin, Theater Critic

FORT WORTH — After all these years, I didn't think West Side Story could make me cry. But it did, more than once. Sixty years after this take on the Romeo and Juliet story by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents astonished Broadway, Casa Manana has not only cast the leads, brilliantly played by John Riddle and Addie Morales, the company has made the novel move of going back to the original conception, complete with Jerome Robbins' Tony Award-winning choreography, here reproduced in its breathtaking entirety by Jeremy Dumont.
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Thoughts On A Possible Remake

I'm been thinking a lot about the possibility of a remake lately. Read more...Collapse )
Musicals, in general, are great, because they employ both speaking and singing, and they're sort of like operettas, in that respect.  This is why I've always preferred musicals to regular plays, which only employ speaking.  Musicals tend to be more cheerful and upbeat, and because they employ both speaking and singing, they tell their story in a much more rounded out, upbeat fashion, if one gets the drift.  Having said all of the above, I'd more than likely have an equally hard time with opera, due to the fact that operas just involve singing. Something that involves some of each is what I like, which is why most musicals are better on stage than on screenRead more...Collapse )
Okay, folks: Here I am again, writing about how much I really love the film West Side Story. I admittedly like films, books, etc., that are hauntingly beautiful. One reason that I like the film West Side Story so much is because it's a hauntingly beautiful classic film that has withstood the test of time...fantastically. Sure, West Side Story is based on certain realities that existed on Manhattan's West Side back in the 1950's and 1960's; the proliferation of gangs and urban gang warfare. A difference was that more gangs used chains, switchblade knives, brass knuckles and fisticuffs back then, rather than high-powered automatic guns that were made, courtesy, at least in part, of the high-tech materials and all that exist nowadays.Read more...Collapse )

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