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Personal Canon: West Side Story's Anita

Hello! I've been doing a "personal canon" series where I write what happened to a bunch of my favorite characters from old musicals that the movie/play didn't get into. I wrote about West Side Story's Anita here.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2014 01:06 pm (UTC)
Interesting thoughts on Anita, especially how you feel she goes back and forth with her feelings towards Maria and the mess she now finds herself in.

Both women carried such terrible burdens of loss and unfair guilt that Maria and Anita became unlikely best friends and sisters for rest of their lives. Anita and Maria both wondered to themselves if they could have ever become so close if they weren't bonded through tragedy and hatred and guilt. If Anita ended up with Bernardo and Maria ended up with Tony, wouldn't they have likely just drifted apart? However, Maria and Anita both never discussed those feelings because it was just too unbelievably painful and....awkward for lack of a better word to bring up to the other one.

That's an especially interesting look at their futures. Carol Lawrence, who played the original Maria, says that she always played the finale believing that Maria was pregnant from her night with Tony.

You might be interested in this piece on Anita and her role in the musical.
Jul. 9th, 2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you and thank you for the article and new information. That's an interesting point about Maria getting pregnant from Tony. That would mean that Maria's baby was half white non-Hispanic. It also goes to why I like West Side Story more than Romeo and Juliet. Maria didn't conveniently die. She was left living with all of the consequences of the rumble and that night. Having Tony's baby is a complicate melange of positive and negative emotions.

I loved that piece! Thanks for reccing it. I never hated Anita for her lie. Frankly, I blame Tony more for going out to look for Chino to kill him. Anita had good reason to believe that she was just making the Jets and Tony see the likely consequences of their actions. It was more than a little much to expect Anita to figure that it would push Tony into the streets looking for death.
Jul. 9th, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
Before I forget, here's the theatrical version of the attempted rape :

Jul. 30th, 2014 03:10 pm (UTC)
This is a great essay, which made me think.
I never thought that Maria would be pregnant with Tony's baby that night, but it's an interesting concept, to boot.

I don't think that Anita ended up hating Maria after the Jets had abused her, both physically and verbally, in Doc's Candy Store, but I do think that she remained angry with her for awhile afterwards, and then forgave her.

Maria, on the other hand, had a much more optomistic outlook than Anita from the start, when it came to relations with the native Americans, so that, too, shone through, as well.
Jul. 30th, 2014 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: This is a great essay, which made me think.
I don't if someone - Jerry, Arthur - suggested that to her but I did see her state that in a book I have on the musical. And it is an interesting idea. And if so, that would definitely color her relationship with both the Jets and the Sharks.
Jul. 30th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: This is a great essay, which made me think.
Good point, Petzi. The idea of Maria becoming pregnant by Tony, in all the years that I've been a devout fan of West Side Story, as well as the number of times I've seen the film West Side Story, has never once crossed my mind.

Maria's optimism was the antithesis of Anita's suspicion, and ultimately, hostility, but something tells me that she eventually got over Tony's death and went on with her life, if one gets the drift.

Yet, i wonder if Anita eventually calmed down after having said what she said to the Jets due to their having physically and verbally abused her in Doc's Candy Store, when she wanted to protect Tony against a now-avenging Chino. Possibly. Who knows?
Jul. 9th, 2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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West Side Story

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