mapol (mapol) wrote in westsidestory,

West Side Story--The Broadway Stage Revival--A Critique:

The newer, more up-to-date Broadway stage revival of West Side Story that I, my sister-in-law and my then 8-year-old niece saw back in late June of 2011 was enjoyable, but, as a devout fan of the film version of West Side Story who's also seen several really good stage productions prior to seeing this one, there were a number of things that bothered me about this particular revival of the Broadway stage version of West Side Story:

A) The finger-snapping and the Jet gang whistles, which, imho, were a very integral part of the story in both the original Broadway stage version, as well as the film version of West Side Story, were taken out of this particular revival altogether. It's a shame, because that was kind of messing with a classic.

B) It's all very well to have the Sharks and their girls singing and speaking in Spanish, which is an interesting idea on the face of it, but this, too, is another example of messing with a classic.

C) Having seen a number of other stage productions of West Side Story that I found very good, I also felt, however, that, while the dancing, as well as some of the voices, was good in this latest WSS stage production, I have never before seen a production of West Side Story that sort of screamed at you pretty much the whole time, and that was so overly emoted by the various characters. Inotherwords, this particular production was somewhat bombastic for my tastes. Moreover, Tony's singing voice sounded very artificial, with very slow, wide vibrattos that one could practically skip-rope through (if one gets the drift.), plus Tony's singing voice sounded really forced in many places.

D) The basic musical score was retained, and it was, interestingly enough, a somewhat more jazzed up flavor, but it did sound somewhat shrill and tinny in many places.

E). In both the film version of West Side Story, as well as the several other stage productions of WSS that I'd seen prior to this particular production, several of the Jets and Sharks came together to in the end to carry Tony's body off after he's been shot by Chino, providing a ray of hope and hinting of a possible reconciliation between both sides. Unfortunately, this production of West Side Story lacked that scene in the end, which was also sort of a downer.
Tags: 2009 broadway revival, reviews

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