I cannot explain how excited I was to open a small box on Christmas morning with a card informing me that I had a date on January 1st, 2011 with my husband to see West Side Story at the Pantages.
Last night we took off, found a good parking lot, grabbed some dinner and headed into the theater with plenty of time to look around and get seated.
The orchestra began and as the stage lit up and the dancing started we knew it was going to be amazing.
And then insert a few inappropriate additions in the blocking here and there. No worries, it was just that once. It won't get worse.
But no, we're wrong, still, consistent sprinkling of nastiness.
End of Act I. Ok, well, the production is really good, they emphasized a lot of the more seedy and sexual elements but surely it won't get any worse.
Begin Act II. Not too bad so far. Oh wait, here comes the song "Officer Krumpke" and the entire number is one big nasty spectacle . Really, I'm ashamed to say we didn't get up and leave. I think we were both a bit shell shocked though.
Now, I'm not that naive, I understand they probably did a bit of cleaning up for the film to meet censor standards; it wasn't even the acknowledging of the dirtier side of things that bothered me, I get that you need to know these are some messed up sleazy kids. What really got to me was the reveling and celebration of it. It's one thing to show someone mud, its another to wallow around in it and then drag them in to wallow with you all while laughing and getting it in your mouth. And frankly, that is what I felt this production of West Side Story did.
I think my greatest disappointment is knowing now that there is nothing I can just take Henry to see on Broadway as he gets older (sadly there were kids ages 4 and up at this performance): one of us, Johann or myself, will have to preview it first.
Luckily the last performance was today so I don't have to warn anyone against seeing it but I think next time, I'll just stick to the film.
So despite your great repute, I dare to disapprove of the nasty job done with West Side Story. What a shame.