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Theater Review: West Side Story

Photo 2West Side Story
Chicago’s Oriental Theatre

Tweetable Review: West Side Story offers quick pacing and grit for an enthusiastically fresh remount with  young talent

The original 1957 production of West Side Story single-handedly jettisoned author Arthur Laurents, a little & unknown lyricist named Stephen Sondheim, composer Leonard Bernstein and director/choreography Jerome Robbins to become something of Musical Theatre Legend – not to mention pop phenoms of their time. Moreover, unlike other musicals of the era, West Side Story took on social conventions of the time and brought discussion on economic war, racism, ageism and the Rebellious Teen. What Hair did for the 60’s, Jesus Christ Superstar did for the 70’s and Rent did for the 90’s – West Side Story did for the 50’s with grit, drama, and history and the current National tour brings this immediacy to Chicago.

The non-Equity national touring production of West Side Story has remounted most of the direction of Arthur Laurents from the 2009 Broadway revival along with the original Jerome Robbins’s choreography from the original 1957 production which has resulted in a  current tour being presented at the Oriental Theatre that is pure & classic Musical Theatre, with high regards to its original property, but cast in a gritty light that adds some vitality and fresh young talent. Aside from the occasional stumbles in some costuming designs, and a few directional choices which will result in a few head scratches, this current West Side Story is a bolstered production with excitement, truthful moments and a fresh vibrancy that will prove appreciative for long time fans and new audiences alike.

Please note this is a partial review, please click HERE to read full review at Fresh Roasted Films.

~ Matt Miles, 24/7 Contributor
Producer of Fresh Roasted Films

When: Through Sunday
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St.
Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Tickets: $18-$85 at 800-775-2000 and broadwayinchicago.com

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