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Mary Torres from New York, New York
REFRESHING YET UNCOMFORTABLE TO WATCH BECAUSE OF THE CONTROVERSY
I enjoyed the modern changes in the WSS revival; the open-race casting was refreshing. Once I got used to watching the stage and video inter-changeably, I was hooked. I especially appreciated the references to social commentary; the hateful wall, mass incarceration, and the need for an inclusionary "place" for us all. The effects, especially the rain, were engrossing. Maria was on fire; her voice is amazing. The actors who played Tony, Riff and Anita gave them life. The actor who played Bernardo, however, was not as believable. The lines he tried in Spanish sounded contrived. His dancing did not make up for his short-comings; he lacks the charisma of George Chakiris or other actors who've made us fall in love with Bernardo. The rape scene was excruciatingly uncomfortable and difficult to digest, knowing there is an actor on stage who has been accused of predatory sexual behavior towards women, and the issue remains unresolved, despite the condescending footnote reported on NY1 claiming the victim had since forgiven the perp. When at the end of the show that same actor put his hand on the hip of a female actor, it made me cringe. I thought about the anonyms statement a woman actor in the show wrote about the level of discomfort she experienced having to share the stage with him. It's so disturbing. I would not have purchased tickets for this show months ago if I had known how the casting would turn out.
Susie from New York, New York
Is it different? Yes. Is it a modern adaptation using mixed media? Yes, but once you get used to the setup I thought it was phenomenal. As someone who grew up listening to the movie soundtrack on my parents’ console stereo for hours on end, I was thrilled with hearing the songs yet once again. We saw it on the opening preview night last December and it did not disappoint! Go in with an open mind and you are going to have an enjoyable evening.
Robert Lancer from New York, New York
Great dancing, average acting, dumbed down production and silly mixed media parts all add up to making this show a mistake. Too bad all that energy wasn’t focused on making this a coherent, watchable event. The audience was primarily aging boomers and the applause was minimal. The idea of showing 30% of the action off stage on a huge screen didn’t make sense (unless you’re a producer trying to save money on sets.) And the wandering live-action cameraman showing facial closeups was irksome. Need I go on?
Disappointed loyal theater goer from New York, New York
NOT A GREAT PRODUCTION....DISAPPOINTING
The video backdrop was a complete distraction from the actors. Maria had a wonderful voice. Felt others were not ready for Broadway. Disappointing and left me wondering what message I was supposed to take away. Unnecessary violence.
Joyce from New York, New York
This is a horrible production of West Side Story. First, the theatre stinks like chlorine from hundreds of gallons of reused water creating “rain” in 3 scenes, (usually when someone dies.) The heart and soul was ripped out of West Side, in this rushed production. Sorry, but the standby for Tony is not ready for Broadway. In general the singing and acting was bad, even with mikes connected visibly between the actors’ eyeballs. The sound is bad, over miked. The richness of the music was lost because the director was fitting a 2 1/2 hour show into 1 hr 45 min, no intermission. Very dumbed down. Does the audience really need a huge sign saying 6PM? And “the next day”. It was particularly annoying to have to watch the soloists sing , act and dance on a movie screen, instead of live, when one pays $175 for a 5th row ticket. There are many talented dancers and Maria has a beautiful voice, but really, love scene laying down on the stage? Constant “movie” backdrops of irrelevant beach scenes, and 40 more dancers that just distract from the choreography and talented dancers. This is the worst thing I have ever seen on Broadway. Not emotionally moving. A mockery of Bernstein’s score. Horrible costumes. And do we need to see dancers using their iphone on stage to video record? Is this “avant garde”. No, just stupid.
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