Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something's Coming to Broadway!

Just saw the 3rd preview of West Side Story playing at the National Theatre in Washington D.C. on it's way to Broadway with original book writer and director Arthur Laurents (Gypsy) directing a hot young cast in the new revival.

WOW. WOW! WHOA... so sad... (the story. Not the show)

It's pretty much a gay man's wet dream. I'll churn out a better fuller more proper review but I just had to say WOW. The dancing is AMAZING and even on this first week of previews, it's perfect and scarily tight. The formations were so geometrically perfect you'd think Descartes was choreographing this thing. Jerome Robbins is a GOD and thankfully, they decided to stick with his original choreography in this updated revival.

I'm not sure how un-gritty former productions were but this one seemed pretty gritty, or at least as gritty a show can get when hot guys in gangs still dance in unison (Again, it's kind of a gay man's wet dream).

The new Spanish translations that translates some pretty famous songs (like "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That") into the characters native language adds authenticity to the story.

Karen Olivo (In the Heights) is going to give Billy Elliot's Hadyn Gwynne a good run for the Best Featured Actress Tony Award.

Newcomer Josefina Scaglione is a truly brilliant find as Maria.

Curtis Holbrook (Xanadu) is CRAZY Psycho as Action. Perfect!

Cody Green obliterates any snarkiness one may have of him for having been on Step it Up and Dance and really shines on stage, both in dancing and singing.

Some have complained that the cast is too hot for its own good but I say bah to them all. It's hot, it sizzles and that just only adds to the darkness of the piece.

The show is almost perfect. Almost.

Something still doesn't quite fit right, and I think it may be my love Matt Cavanagh (another future husband of mine) who I think is slightly miscast as Tony. He works well in a lot of scenes but not in others, and his voice is a bit too operatic with too much vibrato in it for his role, and it only works when he's dueting with Josephina's operatic voice. I won't totally pin it on him yet but the show is almost perfect... but it's just not quite...

It's going to get ****1/2.

Now I'm really curious to see how Stratford is going to do this (with choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Saved) and director Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) next summer.


Esther said...

Vance, I think you need to take a shower and cool off! ;-) And seriously, while WSS sounds great, nothing better get between Haydn Gwynne and her Tony!

Vance said...

i KNOW. I thought Gwynne had the lock but unless she can get moved to Best Leading Actress, she might actually have a fight with Olivo. Olivo was THAT good.

bethnor said...

THANK GOD. I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought Cody rocked Riff.

Snark on this!

Vance said...

I was in the last row of the Balcony so I couldn't see details and stuff and I STILL was mesmerized by Cody Green and couldn't get my eyes off him. His voice and movements were outstanding and his body physicality acted out what I might have missed from his face. (Imagine what I would think if I actually saw his cute face!)