Last weekend, I returned to my first love—the theatre. A friend had choreographed a production of West Side Story, which I haven’t seen on the stage since high school. It’s such a brilliant show, powerful and timely.
I was struck by the beautiful harmonies of Bernstein’s music. Yes, I’ve heard it before. Goodness, I’ve performed it. But this time, I was able to appreciate the intricate chords and musicality of the piece.
And of course, Sondheim’s lyrics are incomparable.
While the story itself is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I think it’s stronger in this setting. The racial issue is something we all relate to, particularly in recent days.
Because of the unique location of this production (a church), someone made announcements beforehand. He said we, the audience, would probably cry. Calloused me sat there thinking, “No way. I know this show forward and backward. The ending is no surprise. I won’t cry.”
You just can’t deny the emotion of the show.
If I ever get a chance to direct it…which is a funny thought because I’ve never had any desire to direct ever…I plan to play up a certain role because something really stood out this time. The character of Anybodys. She’s a tomboy, trying to fit in as one of the Jets. There are two scenes when she “rescues” Tony, the lead.
First is shortly after the rumble, when the police are looking for anyone involved, and second is after he has heard a vicious rumor that causes him to give up.
The first time is understandable. She’s in the area and stumbles upon him.
The second time, though, she’s looking for him. And the thought came to mind…what if she has a crush on him?
Chalk it up to my writer imagination, but I think that gives depth to her character. And if there are any directors out there who want to use that, go for it. Consider it a freebie.
If you ever get a chance to see West Side Story, I recommend it. You’ll laugh along with Anita’s snarky lines. You’ll fall in love all over again with Tony and Maria. You’ll sympathize with Riff and Bernardo. And yes, you will cry. Just expect and accept it.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3