(1 PM – promoted by TheMomCat)
The Broadway stage revival of West Side Story that my sister in law, my niece and I saw this afternoon was enjoyable, but, being a devout fan of the film version of WSS who’s also seen several really good stage productions of West Side Story prior to seeing this one, there were some stuff that bothered me about this particular revival of West Side Story:
A) The finger-snapping and the Jet gang whistles, which, imho, were a rather vital part of the story in the stage production and the film version, were taken out of this revival of WSS altogether. It’s a shame, because it’s sort of messing with a classic.
B) It’s all very well to have the Sharks speaking in Spanish, which is an interesting idea on the face of it, but this, too, is another example of messing with a classic, plus I admittedly felt kind of lost whenever the Spanish dialogue came on.
C) Having seen a number of other stage productions of West Side Story, I also felt that, while the dancing was good, and some of the voices were good, I have never seen a production of WSS 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 voice sounded very artificial, with very slow, wide vibratos that one could practically skip-rope through (if one gets the drift), plus it sounded really forced in many places.
D) The basic musical score was retained, and it was interestingly, 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 and the several other stage productions of WSS that I’ve seen prior to this particular production, several Jets and Sharks come together to carry Tony’s body off after he’s been shot, providing a hint of and possibility of reconciliation between both sides. Unfortunately, this production of West Side Story lacked that scene, which was sort of a downer.