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05 November 2005 @ 12:59 pm
West Side Story  
On Thursday evening my brother and I saw West Side Story, AMTSJ's latest production. It was okay...not great. The choreography that made it so fantastic when the musical originally came out in the 50's is still fantastic, but our local dancers lacked the snap and dancing skills to make it shine. Everything was a little bit slow, or one dancer would be off, or something just wouldn't be quite right.

Diana DeGarmo, a former American Idol runner-up as every advertisement for this production would not let us forget, played Maria, and she played Maria as an innocent but rather wooden girl. Only in the very last scene did Maria show any signs of passion; otherwise, Tony could've been her accountant for all the affection he seemed to feel for her.

Random facts about the musical, since I don't much feel like talking about it:

#1: The Original 1958 Broadway Production was nominated for six 1958 Tony Awards, but only won two: one for Best Scenic Design and one for Jerome Robbins' Choreography. West Side Story famously lost the Best Musical prize to The Music Man that year.

#2: The 1961 Motion Picture won 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris, Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Scoring of a Musical, Best Editing, Best Costumes, and was given a special award to Jerome Robbins for his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography. The movie also won 3 Golden Globe awards.

#3: The feat of 10 Academy Award wins has only been surpassed by two other movies, Ben-Hur and Titanic.

#4: The actors on the set of the movie were instructed to play pranks on each other to keep tensions high.

#5: Six members of the original Broadway cast appeared in the movie.

Watching the show brought back memories of a previous time when I saw the show, but I don't remember when. It must've been a long time ago, because AMTSJ hasn't performed the show in fifteen years. And yet I can't see my parents taking me to this particular musical at such a young age, although they certainly were taking me to the ballet and to the opera by that time.