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REVIEW ARCHIVE

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WEST SIDE STORY BROADWAY REVIEWS

Opening Night: March 19, 2009

Show NY TIMES NY POST VARIETY USA TODAY TM
Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review

Synopsis: West Side Story transposes Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the gang-ridden streets of Manhattan in the 1950s. Instead of the Capulets and Montagues, we have the Puerto Rican Sharks versus the Anglo Jets. In place of Romeo and Juliet are Tony and Maria, two teens torn between ethnic loyalty and their intense, abrupt love for one another. The Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim score includes "Tonight," "Somewhere," "Maria," "I Have a Love" and "Something's Coming."

Off-Broadway Tickets
Off-Broadway Tickets

Broadway Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

"The teenage hoodlums who maraud through Arthur Laurents’s startlingly sweet new revival of “West Side Story” seem like really nice kids. Youth has always been the engine of this epochal musical from 1957, created by one of the most talented teams in showbiz history: Mr. Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (score), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and Jerome Robbins (director and choreographer). But usually it’s the scary, adrenaline-stoked energy of youth that sets the tone and rhythms of the show. In this production, which lovingly replicates Mr. Robbins’s balletic choreography, what prevails is a tenderhearted awareness of the naked vulnerability of being young and trapped in an urban jungle."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

NEW YORK POST REVIEW:

" IT snaps, it crackles, it pops! It surges with a roar, its energy and sheer life undiminished by the years. I'm talking about Leonard Bernstein's music, mind you. If there were a Mount Rushmore for Broadway scores, "West Side Story" would be carved front and center. When the "Prologue" blasts out of the pit, it sends an immediate thrill down the audience's collective spine "

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

VARIETY REVIEW:

"The show's book has always been secondary to its score, but Laurents efficiently underlines the paradox that the Jets, so threatened by the encroachment of the Hispanic Sharks on their white neighborhood, are only a generation or two evolved from being the kind of immigrant trash they despise. And having their racism amplified through the voice of authority of a sleazy cop (Steve Bassett) further darkens the Shakespearean canvas of warring factions. "

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

USA TODAY REVIEW:

"It's certainly not hard to root for Matt Cavenaugh's handsome, likable Tony, or the angelic but warmly coquettish Maria of Josefina Scaglione, whose sterling lyric soprano is perfectly suited to the role. Karen Olivo's witty, fiery Anita is another asset; she may not be the best dancer to ever tackle the role, but Joey McKneely's reproduction of Jerome Robbins' choreography lets her shine and the others soar"

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

"Much of the current West Side's appeal depends on the cast -- which is to play off a Sondheim lyric -- not only large and funny and fine, but up to fulfilling the tragic dimensions that Shakespeare and Laurents built into the show. The real discovery here is Argentinian import Josefina Scaglione, who has every ounce of innocence required of Maria and whose soprano is pure and steady. Matt Cavenaugh, last seen on Broadway in A Catered Affair, is a tough yet compassionate Tony, and his singing of "Something's Coming" and "Maria" is all a fan of the seminal tuner could ask."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW:

"The idea that a musical as brilliant as "West Side Story" would require reinventing seems a bit dubious, and the doubts are confirmed by the new Broadway revival. Reconceived and staged by its original book writer Arthur Laurents to achieve a new level of grittiness, this production features a lot of tweaks -- most notably the use of Spanish for two of the songs and some of the dialogue -- that don't add appreciably to its impact. "

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

"The teenage hoodlums who maraud through Arthur Laurents’s startlingly sweet new revival of “West Side Story” seem like really nice kids. Youth has always been the engine of this epochal musical from 1957, created by one of the most talented teams in showbiz history: Mr. Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (score), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and Jerome Robbins (director and choreographer). But usually it’s the scary, adrenaline-stoked energy of youth that sets the tone and rhythms of the show. In this production, which lovingly replicates Mr. Robbins’s balletic choreography, what prevails is a tenderhearted awareness of the naked vulnerability of being young and trapped in an urban jungle."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

USA TODAY REVIEW:

"It's certainly not hard to root for Matt Cavenaugh's handsome, likable Tony, or the angelic but warmly coquettish Maria of Josefina Scaglione, whose sterling lyric soprano is perfectly suited to the role. Karen Olivo's witty, fiery Anita is another asset; she may not be the best dancer to ever tackle the role, but Joey McKneely's reproduction of Jerome Robbins' choreography lets her shine and the others soar"

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

VARIETY REVIEW:

"The show's book has always been secondary to its score, but Laurents efficiently underlines the paradox that the Jets, so threatened by the encroachment of the Hispanic Sharks on their white neighborhood, are only a generation or two evolved from being the kind of immigrant trash they despise. And having their racism amplified through the voice of authority of a sleazy cop (Steve Bassett) further darkens the Shakespearean canvas of warring factions."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

"Much of the current West Side's appeal depends on the cast -- which is to play off a Sondheim lyric -- not only large and funny and fine, but up to fulfilling the tragic dimensions that Shakespeare and Laurents built into the show. The real discovery here is Argentinian import Josefina Scaglione, who has every ounce of innocence required of Maria and whose soprano is pure and steady. Matt Cavenaugh, last seen on Broadway in A Catered Affair, is a tough yet compassionate Tony, and his singing of "Something's Coming" and "Maria" is all a fan of the seminal tuner could ask."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

"It happened for me during "America." I forgot I was sitting in a Broadway theatre watching professional actors in a revival of West Side Story. I was spying on a group of high-spirited girls kidding each other about living in New York after enduring the poverty of their native Puerto Rico. They weren't executing Jerome Robbins' classic choreography, as re-created by Joey McKneely, on James Youmans' darkly evocative ghetto set; they were flouncing their skirts, jumping on stoops, and inhabiting a specific place and time. This authenticity is only partially due to the Spanish translation of many of the Latino scenes and two of the songs ("I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That"), by Lin-Manuel Miranda of In the Heights fame. The scenes are so real that no English supertitles are required to convey their meaning."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

"It happened for me during "America." I forgot I was sitting in a Broadway theatre watching professional actors in a revival of West Side Story. I was spying on a group of high-spirited girls kidding each other about living in New York after enduring the poverty of their native Puerto Rico. They weren't executing Jerome Robbins' classic choreography, as re-created by Joey McKneely, on James Youmans' darkly evocative ghetto set; they were flouncing their skirts, jumping on stoops, and inhabiting a specific place and time. This authenticity is only partially due to the Spanish translation of many of the Latino scenes and two of the songs ("I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That"), by Lin-Manuel Miranda of In the Heights fame. The scenes are so real that no English supertitles are required to convey their meaning."

Click here to read the full "West Side Story" review.

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