Monday, March 27, 2017

Review of WEST SIDE STORY, Georgetown, Palace Theater

Fio was excited about attending a performance of Leonard Bernstein'sWest Side Story at the Georgetown Palace Theater because although she could sing along with many of its songs, she had never seen a stage production ot the show. Her first surprise was that the whole show takes place in front of the same stage setting, which, surprisingly, works beautifully. Her second surprise was how dated the show was. Rumbles, shivs, zip-guns--who knows what those are nowadays? Her third surprise was how stereotyped the adult actors were--Fio prefers a little more depth. And her fourth suprise was how much of a ballet the show is--choreographer Jesee Smart approached genius level in putting together all those numbers.

On the other hand, the casting was a little dicy. Some of the "teens" looked over the age limit, and although "Maria" sent thrills of appreciation through Fio every time she opened her mouth, "Tony" needed a couple more years of voice training.   (THE MASK, TONY! SING INTO THE MASK!)

In general, Fio liked the show, and she cried when Tony was killed at the end, which was beneficial bceause she needed a good dose of emotion to drown out the preachiness Bernstein had stuck into the show at the last moment. To be frank, Rodgers and Harmmerstein would have handled the ethnic tolerance aspect better, letting the audience come to its own realization rather than having a character shout it out to them.

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