WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread

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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
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#651
Posted: 1/18/20 at 9:09am

In the minority here.

Almost everything in this is stunning. A beloved but creaky classic receives a much needed shot of adrenaline. In this fierce modernity all the quaint and precious aspects of the libretto are wisely played as artifacts and in Brechtian counterpoint, not as half baked attempt at phony street smart midcentury realism. This is an essential and laudatory innovation

The single thing I would love to see change during previews are the insipidly on the nose San Juan and NYC visuals during America.

Cutting I Feel Pretty may sound like blasphemy. But van Hove’s instincts here are right on.

He has taken Officer Krupke from cloyingly cute to staggeringly bold.

I predict raves and boffo sales


 

Updated On: 1/19/20 at 09:09 AM
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Someone in a Tree2
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#652
Posted: 1/18/20 at 10:51am
Did you see it last night with Isaac Powell back on?
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BJR
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#653
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:15am

Dancingthrulife2 said: "I think one of the major challenges the performers have to face is, besides the raw, intense choreography, how to switch between stage acting and screen acting seamlessly. I think some did pretty well, yet when some weren't so used to the switch of acting modes, it showed, especially on the screen. They do need this long preview period to settle in their roles since it's already half way through it.

100. I had this thought when I caught first preview, since at that time I'd say when it came to adjusting to very-tight close-up camera work to no-sets, fill-the-space Roman tragedy, only Isaac understood the assignment. Happy to report when I went back others have settled in nicely and risen to the challenge. But with so many young performers and Bway debuts, it's not surprising they could use  more time to let others get there.

CopleyScott17
Swing
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#654
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:35am

Totally blown away by last night's performance. Watching the movie on TV was an annual event growing up (back when the 3 networks actually made a huge deal out of showing prestige Hollywood features), and the soundtrack album was constantly on the turntable, but l had never seen WSS on stage before last night. I was a bit wary going in, primarily because I kinda hated van Hove's "Network" last year. Well, I shouldn't have worried...it was magnificent. Almost as good as last year's "Oklahoma!" revival, and very similar in modernizing and recontextualizing a classic. This WSS creates something new and vital and beautiful, and relevant in a world of cell phones and border walls and police misconduct, and racial bigotry that still endures. As it turned out, last night was Powell's first night back, and I really lucked out. Have been stanning for him since his "Once On This Island" performance on the Tonys, and had planned this trip months ago around this show. Was not disappointed. He sings and acts the role beautifully, and had real chemistry with Maria. I was entranced and impressed by the entire company -- ethnically diverse, believably "street," and refreshingly age appropriate. Great dancers, and if you will forgive the shallowness, seriously hot. The tattoo makeup artists deserve a Tony. Due props to Ivo: the staging was stunning, though I did find the massive, amazingly pristine, video projections a bit distracting at first. And I still think "Gee, Officer Krupke" should come early and "Cool" should come late, as in the movie. Maria sings like an angel, and is portrayed as strong, and sexy, and assertive -- not a naive, timid wallflower like previous interpretations. It's a huge improvement, but does tend to diminish the Anita character a bit (though her visit to Doc's and attack by the Jets is absolutely harrowing). I loved the new choreography with all the original orchestrations -- the sound was astounding -- and I was thrilled to finally see and hear probably my all-time favorite piece from musical theater, "Dance At The Gym," live on Broadway. I think Powell is a shoe-in for Best Actor in a Musical, but there will be a lot of competition for Best Revival, with "Company" and "Caroline, and Change" yet to come. Regardless, this "West Side Story" is a must see.

Updated On: 1/18/20 at 11:35 AM
Globefan
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joined:10/31/12
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#655
Posted: 1/18/20 at 5:15pm

CopleyScott17 said: "Totally blown away by last night's performance. Watching the movie on TV was an annual event growing up (back when the 3 networks actually made a huge deal out of showing prestige Hollywood features), and the soundtrack album was constantly on the turntable, but l had never seen WSS on stage before last night. I was a bit wary going in, primarily because I kinda hated van Hove's "Network" last year. Well, I shouldn't have worried...it was magnificent. Almost as good as last year's "Oklahoma!" revival, and very similar in modernizing and recontextualizing a classic. This WSS creates something new and vital and beautiful, and relevant in a world of cell phones and border walls and police misconduct, and racial bigotry that still endures. As it turned out, last night was Powell's first night back, and I really lucked out. Have been stanning for him since his "Once On This Island" performance on the Tonys, and had planned this trip months ago around this show. Was not disappointed. He sings and acts the role beautifully, and had real chemistry with Maria. I was entranced and impressed by the entire company -- ethnically diverse, believably "street," and refreshingly age appropriate. Great dancers, and if you will forgive the shallowness, seriously hot. The tattoo makeup artists deserve a Tony. Due props to Ivo: the staging was stunning, though I did find the massive, amazingly pristine, video projections a bit distracting at first. And I still think "Gee, Officer Krupke" should come early and "Cool" should come late, as in the movie. Maria sings like an angel, and is portrayed as strong, and sexy, and assertive -- not a naive, timid wallflower like previous interpretations. It's a huge improvement, but does tend to diminish the Anita character a bit (though her visit to Doc's and attack by the Jets is absolutely harrowing). I loved the new choreography with all the original orchestrations -- the sound was astounding -- and I was thrilled to finally see and hear probably my all-time favorite piece from musical theater, "Dance At The Gym," live on Broadway. I think Powell is a shoe-in for Best Actor in a Musical, but there will be a lot of competition for Best Revival, with "Company" and "Caroline, and Change" yet to come. Regardless, this "West Side Story" is a must see."

I hope Rachel Zegler's Maria is as strong as this revival's version. 

SisterGeorge
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#656
Posted: 1/18/20 at 5:43pm

henrikegerman said: "In the minority here.

Almost everything in this is stunning. A beloved but creaky classic receives a much needed shot of adrenaline. In this fierce modernity all the quaint and precious aspects of the libretto are wisely played as an artifacts in Brechtian counterpoint, not as half baked attempt at phony street smart midcentury realism. This is an essential and laudatory innovation.


You are NOT in the minority. Don't perpetuate the myth that this is a disaster of epic proportions. Quite the opposite. People who have actually seen the production are raving about this brilliant show and rightly so. So glad you loved it! Me too.



"

 

Updated On: 1/18/20 at 05:43 PM
timsim1999
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joined:5/21/18
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#657
Posted: 1/18/20 at 10:11pm

I don’t know if anyone has the answer to this. But I have been thinking about buying tickets to this production. I have heard that there is a rule where you can’t leave your seat to use the restroom. Is this true? Can anyone confirm? How is this even allowed if it is true? I would think tat they could get into a lot of trouble for this.

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VotePeron
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#658
Posted: 1/18/20 at 10:16pm

timsim1999 said: "I don’t know if anyone has the answer to this. But I have been thinking about buying tickets to this production. I have heard that there is a rule where you can’t leave your seat to use the restroom. Is this true? Can anyone confirm? How is this even allowed if it is true? I would think tat they could get into a lot of trouble for this."

You can certainly get up out of your seat and exit the auditorium during the performance, but the policy (like at most Rudin shows) is that you will not be allowed to re-enter during the show. 

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orph3us
Understudy
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#659
Posted: 1/18/20 at 10:39pm
It's pretty annoying when people get up to go to the restroom during shows, unless you have a legit health reason, I don't see why people can't just go before the show. It's less than two hours.
bk
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joined:7/20/03
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#660
Posted: 1/19/20 at 1:59am

It's not only annoying, it's baffling.  They can sit still for a two-hour movie, but not a show?  I have never understood this.

Dolly80
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#661
Posted: 1/19/20 at 8:57am
Does anyone know if Isaac has any scheduled performances off please? I really want to catch him
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kmac789
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#662
Posted: 1/19/20 at 9:38am
I saw the production last night (1/19) for the evening performance and Issac was on. Pretty sure he said on someone’s comment that he’ll be easing back into the role. So he may not be doing matinees on 2 show days for the next week or so but he certainly looked perfect in the role last night.

The production itself is amazing. I have never seen the film or any adaptation of the production ever, so I went in “blind” to the show. As someone who has nothing to compare it to, I felt like this production and direction raised a new bar of live broadway theater. The time count makes the anticipation all that more effective. The stage was so simple and yet, so intricate from what “is hidden.” I felt like the casting was true to the story—gang members fighting over territory in New York City and everyone looked their age.

As for the rain, even without it the production is still riveting. However, I was able to chat with one of the cast members who is also a swing and she said that they didn’t get to rehearse in the rain until previews started. So that may explain some of the injuries. She said it was a completely full experience once she had the rain and is an adjustment for all who haven’t performed in it yet.

And the tattoos! I found out that they adhere for 2 weeks at a time and that the cast actually wear them outside of the production (except for the face tattoos). I think that is so cool, especially to hold up in the rain.

Overall, WWS has made me a huge fan. Loved Shereen as Maria. What a stunning voice and actress. And the choreography is outstanding with the camerawork.
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JBroadway
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#663
Posted: 1/19/20 at 9:44am

kmac789 said: "As for the rain, even without it the production is still riveting."

 

Wait, are you saying the rain has been cut? Or are you saying it the production would still be riveting even IF they were to cut it? 

 

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henrikegerman
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#664
Posted: 1/19/20 at 9:56am

I saw Thursday's performance.  Powell was still out with Jordan Dobson playing Tony.  He was terrific. He and Shereen movingly chemically aligned, especially in One Hand, One Heart - those hands on the column.  Jones was playing Riff.  Jarred Mannista - excellent! - was Action.  

This is a splendid production and I'm really quite surprised at some of the criticism here, especially with the most virulent jabs.  Feel as if a lot of the purists on Broadwayworld prefer our classic shows forever frozen in time and served slightly thawed and as blandly as possible.

Good luck building up new interest in our musical theatre treasures with that philosophy.

Updated On: 1/19/20 at 09:56 AM
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kmac789
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#665
Posted: 1/19/20 at 1:08pm

JBroadway said: "kmac789 said: "As for the rain, even without it the production is still riveting."



Wait, are you saying the rain has been cut? Or are you saying it the production would still be riveting even IF they were to cut it?


Sorry, I was saying that IF it was cut it would still be riveting! The rain is indeed staying, and is a HUGE factor in the last 30 minutes. But even without it, I’m still blown away. 
"

 

JVJ93
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#666
Posted: 1/19/20 at 1:26pm
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but a friend mentioned to me that there may be dates coming up where Ramasar is out of the show to attend court. Anyone know which days?
timote316
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Rear Mezz?#667
Posted: 1/19/20 at 1:43pm

Tried searching but haven't had any luck. Any reports on the rear mezz? Too far away? Never been in the mezz at the Broadway.

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Someone in a Tree2
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Rear Mezz?#668
Posted: 1/19/20 at 3:24pm

^ The Broadway is indeed a barn, and the rear mezz would be an extremely long throw to the stage.

However, this unique production could actually help you in ways other shows wouldn't-- much of the time the performers' faces are 30' high due to the projection screen backing the stage. 

Frankly, even from our seats in Orchestra row Q, I used my little binoculars quite a bit to focus on details of the costuming and performance that weren't showing up on the jumbotron behind them.

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MichelleCraig
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Rear Mezz?#669
Posted: 1/19/20 at 7:32pm

kmac789 wrote: I have never seen the film or any adaptation of the production ever, so I went in “blind” to the show.

I'd like to hear/read what you think of the movie once you've seen it.

cjmclaughlin10
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Rear Mezz?#670
Posted: 1/20/20 at 10:09am
Anyone know if the West Sude Story Box Office is open ion Monday’s even when there is no show?
kuhset
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#671
Posted: 1/20/20 at 3:26pm

Can someone clarify what she means by "despite union rules"? 

bk
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#672
Posted: 1/20/20 at 3:36pm

And can someone clarify what she means by "sexual predator" because clearly she doesn't know what those words mean.

Impossible2
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#673
Posted: 1/20/20 at 3:52pm

bk said: "And can someone clarify what she means by "sexual predator" because clearly she doesn't know what those words mean."

It's also pretty classless and clueless to show a gif of some other person when you're trying to make a point about a 'sexual predator'...

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ModernMillie3
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#674
Posted: 1/20/20 at 4:43pm

It's not a still image, it's a gif of Nick Young which is strange since he's just a basketball player with no affiliation to any of this. 

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but a friend mentioned to me that there may be dates coming up where Ramasar is out of the show to attend court. Anyone know which days?

This case starts deliberations at 10am tomorrow, and will probably take one or two weeks. So, any matinees on weekdays he most likely will not be attending. 

Updated On: 1/20/20 at 04:43 PM
Impossible2
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#675
Posted: 1/20/20 at 5:05pm

ModernMillie3 said: "It's not a still image, it's a gif of Nick Young which is strange since he's just a basketball player with no affiliation to any of this.

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but a friend mentioned to me that there may be dates coming up where Ramasar is out of the show to attend court. Anyone know which days?

This casestarts deliberations at 10am tomorrow, and will probably take one or two weeks. So, any matinees on weekdays he most likely will not be attending.
"

I said it was a gif *shrug