Zambello obviously trusts this subject matter, providing a conventional manufacturing that’s brimming with theatrical power and verve.
With wonderful song through Leonard Bernstein, a very good ebook through Arthur Laurents, magical choreography and unique course through Jerome Robbins and lyrics through the younger Stephen Sondheim, West Aspect Tale is a musical and dramatic ceremonial dinner that includes such well-known songs as “Maria,” “This night,” the pleasant “The usa”, and the plaintive “Someplace.”
The tale, based totally in large part on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is a transparent tale of “us vs. them” because the American gang The Jets squares off towards the brand new arrivals from Puerto Rico, The Sharks. This conflict of cultures is finely honed through Zambello, because the gun violence that ends the tragedy is far too acquainted to all folks. Zambello helps to keep the motion fast paced, transparent, and brilliant.
The actual stars of this display are the intense choreography (Robbins’ choreography is painstakingly and stunningly recreated right here through Joshua Bergasse and affiliate choreographer Kiira Schmidt Carper) and a solid of exceptional actor/dancers who paintings with superb precision, talent, and staying power. It’s the most efficient theatre dancing I’ve ever observed. Many dance moments had been met through absolute silence from the slack-jawed target market which then roared with approval on the finish of the numbers.
Lots of the solid adjustments labored rather well, regardless that I’ve a couple of caveats. The Maria of Okanisha Feliciano used to be performed with authentic younger innocence and her bell-like soprano fulfilled all of the necessities of the function, regardless that her best possible notes infrequently became shrill.
Our Tony this time round used to be Ryan McCartan, who possesses a lovely, plangent tenor and acts properly, however he turns out miscast. His Tony may be very mild, naïve, and comfortable; it’s very arduous to imagine that that is the person who based the Jets gang and fought a lot of rumbles prior to now. He turns out extra blameless than Maria. In his scene with Riff (the fantastic actor/dancer Brett Thiele), the 2 appear to come back from totally other worlds fairly than the most efficient of pals.
Amanda Castro returns because the fiery, younger Anita in a glowing efficiency, making a song and dancing splendidly, particularly in “The usa.” Brett Thiele’s Riff and Yurel Echezarreta as Bernardo make their gang contention particularly brilliant. Mark Daniel Aguirre is a fairly colorless Chino.
Document, the drug retailer proprietor, is feminine and well-played through Genevieve VenJohnson, regardless that she lacks Document’s standard authoritative energy within the eventualities involving the gangs. Well known Chicago actors Keith Kupferer and John Lister are Schrank and Krupke, and Lillian Castillo is a pride as Happy Hand.
Peter J. Davison’s superb units supply temper and site, and paintings rather well apart from Maria’s bed room, prime on a platform and feeling too far off for the target market. Superb costumes through Jessica Jahn and moody lights through Mark McCullough entire the image.
And what a pleasure to listen to this excellent song performed through the powerful Lyric Opera Orchestra, led with propulsive power and nuance through James Lowe. It used to be a day of sheer musical excitement.
The manufacturing runs via June 25 and must be a near-sellout. I encourage Chicago audiences to make this a viewing precedence.
Footage: Todd Rosenberg