West Side Story

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've been pretty scarce on the blog lately and on the interwebz in general. I haven't posted my Tumblr photos of the day in, oh, three weeks. I think I can officially declare that project dead. There's just too much on the go these days, and as many of you know, when the going gets tough, online stuff is the first thing to suffer. (Which I guess is a good thing, as opposed to my marriage or friendships or working out or sleeping going down the tubes.)

In spite of the insanity, there have been some bright spots in the past couple of weeks. A visit from my sister, a delicious dinner with friends, and last Wednesday, my very first viewing of West Side Story on the stage.

Confession: I've never seen West Side Story before - the movie or the stage version - and I jumped at the opportunity to check out Neptune Theatre's rendition in Halifax. I knew very little about the plot, other than that it was about rival gangs and some sort of ill-fated romance - lots of drama. Good enough for me!

Turns out West Side Story is a modern-day rendition of Romeo and Juliet, complete with lots of tight jackets, greased hair, slick dance moves and knife fights. I won't give away too much of the plot in the unlikely event that I'm NOT the last person on the face of the earth to see West Side Story, but it's based in the mid-1950s in New York City and it centres around the blossoming love between Maria, the sister of the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks, and Tony, a big kahuna with the rival Jets, a white, working-class gang. The dark themes throughout the story, including violence and racism, resonate whether it's Shakespearean times, the fifties, or today.

If you haven't seen West Side Story yet, check it out. If you've seen it a dozen times already, see it again! The choreography was fantastic and I was singing the songs for days afterward. The actors did a fantastic job and you find yourself genuinely rooting for Tony and Maria. What could easily be a cheesy, sickly-sweet romance is engaging and entertaining. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie version just to compare. West Side Story plays at Neptune through May 29.

You Might Also Like