Thursday, July 16, 2009

Entertainment Thursday: West Side Story

For my 30th birthday Jon got us tickets to see West Side Story. I had been saying for years "When are they going to bring West Side Story back to Broadway??" Low and behold the year of my 30th birthday was the answer.

I was so excited to go! I love the story, the music, everything about West Side Story. We had dinner beforehand and then walked over to the Theater which is at Broadway and 47th Street.

Our seats were in the last row of the orchestra. The last three rows of the orchestra were a raised section though so we had a clear view of the stage.

The play did not disappoint! The music and the dancing (espcially the dancing) was amazing! The choreography, especially during the fight scenes, was awesome. My favorite song, "America" sung by Anita and friends was easily the best song of the night. It had power, dancing, color, humor, it was spot on. And Karen Olivo, who played Anita stole the show I thought with her spunky character. She was amazing.

Maria, played by Josefina Scaglione, was also very good. Her soprano voice (she was trained as an opera singer) was beautiful. She nailed every song!

I did have two complaints though about the show. First, I though Tony, played by Matt Cavenaugh, was weak. He had a great singing voice and when he and Maria were singing their duets I loved him. However, when he spoke his voice was so "over-acted" that it really took away from his character. He just sounded ridiculous.

Second, the play was partly in Spanish. I didn't mind that so much because I was able to understand most of it, but I thought that was an interesting decision by the director, given that the average American probably does not have a solid grip on the Spanish language. The other weird part about it was that in my opinion, you either needed to commit to all The Sharks (girls & guys) speaking Spanish every time they spoke or they shouldn't speak in Spanish at all. Instead, it was very sporadic. Sometimes the characters would speak in Spanish, sometimes they wouldn't. Sometimes every other sentence was in Spanish. There were two whole songs in Spanish - "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That". It was a bummer not to be able to hear and enjoy the version that we know and love. In addition, Anita & Maria sing "A Boy Like That" in Spanish and as they finish they lead into another song "I Have a Love" that they proceeded to sing in English. The inconsistency just bothered me.

Overall, though I LOVED IT! I had so much fun watching the story unfold and I just enjoyed hearing all of the songs sung live right in front of my eyes. I would definitely recommend it to people, as long as, part of the play being in Spanish doesn't bother you. If you know the story, you'll get the gist of what's going on...

Post In Comments:

Have you seen West Side Story yet on Broadway? If so, what was your favorite song?

No comments: