Monday, March 09, 2009

The Return of West Side Story

That explains it.  Just the other night I was flipping through the channels and happened catch the opening number to West Side Story on some random movie station.  I fell asleep shortly after.

Waking up the next morning and turning the tv back on, which was naturally tuned to the same movie channel…I caught the end of West Side Story.

Are we in some sort of anniversary year, or is this just coinicidence?  The article, by the way, points to West Side Story on Broadway in case you haven’t read it.  So it looks like we’re in a bit of a West Side Story Revival.

Personally I didn’t like it.  I appreciate the retelling of the story, and how close they kept while still making an entirely new thing.  But without the text, as if they’re pretending it does not owe everything to the original, it just comes off as a pale imitation to me.  Birth to Earth, womb to tomb?  Bleh.

Am I in the minority?  Do you other Shakespeare geeks love that one?


I do have a funny West Side Story…story…though.  My friend Brian is more the actor than I, and he did get to play Tony at one point.  However in the big final scene, where he’s supposed to rush across the stage to Maria?  The prop gun didn’t go off.  So instead of the big moment when he just gets there and then crumples at her feet, he reaches her and is like, “Ok, now what?”  So they faked it a bit with an extra long embrace, and then they got the gun to go off.

Which reminds me of a different story, back in college, where some friends were doing Inspector Hound (by Tom Stoppard, oddly enough).  I get this story second hand, but I guess there’s a confrontation between the hero and the bad guy, and the bad guy’s supposed to get shot?  Well, the gun doesn’t go off.  So the bad guy, improvising, *runs for it*.  The good guy then chases him offstage.  Well, some handy producer sort grabs a couple of pieces of wood to make the required BANG! noise – only the bad guy, trying to stay consistent, now has to stagger back on stage to properly die like he should have in the first place.  I can only imagine how silly that looked :)

1 comment:

thatsthebook said...

Oh I hope you aren't in the minority. I really couldn't think of a worse show. And I have to try to sell tickets to the show in Stratford. As far as I know it's not an anniversary year.