WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread

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Fetus
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#101
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:13pm

Impossible2 said: "Luminaire2 said: "Anything related to this revival deserves to have it brought up. If you are going to hire and cast someone like that, it will not be swept under the rug or hidden. We will not repeat the mistakes of the past."

No it shouldn't...this isn't Twitter it is Broadway World.

I don't see what the point of bitching online is going to do. If y'all truly believe he should be fired go picket the theatre. Go do something, ANYTHING so we don't have to keep hearing about it.
"

The only bitching in this thread is coming from the people trying to incite arguments with the people trying to discussing Alexandra Waterbury addressing the production. You're going to have to deal with the fact that his casting has made a lot of people upset and with the show beginning previews the discussion is only going to grow.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#102
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:15pm
All songs are sung by the originally intended characters. The characters that die in every previous version die here. Those that survive in previous versions survive here.

Orchestrations and songs seemed to be the same as any other production, but that’s it. I Feel Pretty and the Somewhere ballet are indeed gone.
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#103
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:16pm

supersam1026 said: "All songs are sung by the originally intended characters. The characters that die in every previous version die here. Those that survive in previous versions survive here.

Orchestrations and songs seemed to be the same as any other production, but that’s it. I Feel Pretty and the Somewhere ballet are indeed gone.
"

How was the choreography? 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#104
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:17pm

Kad said: "Impossible2 said: "Luminaire2 said: "Anything related to this revival deserves to have it brought up. If you are going to hire and cast someone like that, it will not be swept under the rug or hidden. We will not repeat the mistakes of the past."

No it shouldn't...this isn't Twitter it is Broadway World.

I don't see what the point of bitching online is going to do. If y'all truly believe he should be fired go picket the theatre. Go do something, ANYTHING so we don't have to keep hearing about it.
"

Bitching about something one has absolutely no power to change constitutes about 75% of the posts here. It’s a discussion forum.
"

This is true, but this isn't a thread about this guy, it is a thread about WSS previews.

I have no problem with it being discussed, but create a separate thread for it so it doesn't clog up every thread about the show. It's not like we don't all already know about it.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#105
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:21pm

QueenAlice said: "And I agree about OKLAHOMA. Daniel Fish's OKLAHOMA had years of development and shocking purists before it made it to Broadway. Maybe this WEST SIDE should have started in Europe."

I say this as someone who (1) hasnt seen this WSS revival and has no opinion as to whether it works or not, and (2) has enjoyed some of this director's work in the past- including the much-derided Crucible, but from what I am reading here, the comparison to Fish's Oklahoma! doesnt work:

this WSS is cutting dialogue, songs, and slimming the whole thing down by an hour. Fish didnt cut a single word of Oklahoma, and the genius in it lies in the way he created a whole new show without changing a word. Maybe the changes made to WSS will be fantastic (eyebrow raise) but whatever the result, its a different exercise than what Fish did with Oklahoma!

 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#106
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:24pm

Fish cut almost all the choreography out of Oklahoma along with all the music that went with it. And Agnes DeMille’s contribution to that show was right up there with Jerome Robbins’s on West Side Story. To say Fish didn’t cut anything is to miss the point completely. Yes he did. He cut a lot.

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
Updated On: 12/10/19 at 10:24 PM
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#107
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:26pm

ctorres23 said: "Fetus said: "Here's her post on Instagram for anyone who wants to read it directly:https://www.instagram.com/p/B55ZumnAHG1"

Alexandra Waterbury said: "[Amar]should be on a sex offender list"

We're still doing this, I guess.

Sex offenders are rapists, child molesters, and creators/distributors of child pornography. It's a designation for deviant criminals who have high rates of recidivism.

The seriousness of the title means that these horrible people cannot hide in society. It is intended to keep communities vigilant to their actions, and to keep them away from any future potential victims.

Using "sex offender" as a description of lesser transgressions is an absolute gift to these people. They cannot escape the designation - in the worst cases it applies for the rest of their lives - so their only way out is if the term becomes so diluted as to become meaningless.

I understand why she (and many people on this board) are calling him variations on this. I appreciate it feels good to call him that, to brand him with that. But that momentary rush only helps cloud a term that has very real implications for victims and potential victims.

Amar's transgression was a violation of trust and intimacy, but it wasn't a crime*, and it obviously doesn't rise to the level of being branded a sex offender. It is such a total misnomer that I wouldn't be surprised if it gets used by NYCB's lawyers during the trial to try and characterize her lawsuit as being purely about revenge. Her lawyer should have shut this post down.

* Despite her citing the 2014 New York State law, revenge porn requires the person sharing the images to have the "intent" of harming the victim(relevantHarvard Law Review article). Since the chat was private, and not shared beyond that group, the intent was clearly for her to never find out.
"

The End.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#108
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:36pm
Got out of 1st preview.

There were aspects that I didn’t care for, but overall I thought this was absolutely brilliant.

I thought some of the stylized dialogue clashed with the gritty take on the material. But I also don’t like the dialogue in this show in the first place. And I actually think the direction made some the dialogue work better. I always disliked the schlocky dialogue between Tony and Maria, but there was a naturalistic playfulness between them in this production that made the dialogue feel more believable. In general I thought the two of them had great chemistry.

On a similar note, I thought the traditional orchestrations also sometimes clashed with the production, but also sometimes it worked gorgeously.

But I found the staging and the design really exciting. The choreography is thrilling and I really hope they don’t change any of it.

The use of video and offstage sets was a little distracting at first, but I got used to it, and by the end of the show I really liked it.

I did not miss I Feel Pretty at all, and not only did I not miss the Somewhere ballet, but I thought what they did instead was absolutely gorgeous. Probably the highlight of the show for me - it literally moves me to tears.

The re-imagining of Dear Officer Krupke is smart, but a bit heavy-handed for me.

I realize some of the women’s material was cut, and many people are angry about that. But to be honest, the show felt just about as male-dominated as it usually is. There are still some profoundly powerful moments for the female characters, but ultimately there is just more material for the men, especially the Jets.

I didn’t think the accents were very good at all, and I think that’s the biggest issue with casting non-Latino people in Latino roles, even if they are still POC: they looks like they could be Latino, but their accents, both in English and in Spanish, weren’t very believable. I’d rather Ivo just cut the accents like he did in A View From the Bridge.

Isaac Powell was the performance stand-out for me. He had a great sense of the words, plus a youthful energy about him that was very likable, and his loose physicality was very charming and fit the modern take on the character well.

Despite all the changes, this still felt like West Side Story to me. At its core it still felt like the same themes. Race may have played less of a factor in this re-imagining, and there were moments where that caused some dissonance between the text and the direction. But the anti-violence message takes center-stage in a profoundly moving way.

The show ran about 1h50m, but that includes a post-show speech about all the people making their Broadway debuts tonight.

This show will probably receive a lot of hate even after people see it. Many people will probably have the same criticisms that I did, but for them they will be dealbreakers. For me, they weren’t dealbreakers at all.

This whole months-long debate has been exhausting, and now that I’ve seen the show, I don’t really feel like engaging with it anymore. I’m happy to answer any specific questions people have, but I’m going to attempt to refrain for continuing this whole abstract debate about making changes, authorial intent, blah blah blah.
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#109
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:37pm

All right, here goes. Just got home.

Packed house. Sondheim a few rows ahead of me.

But y'all don't care about that. On to the show.

It's both not in as terrible shape as some would have you think. But also, they're really gonna need two months. Some folks will hate it, no question. But if they can pull off the right fixes, this could be a violent and vital production. Big "if"s, of course.

It's very modern, extremely minimal. Lots of live capture. Lots of rain.

The dress shop and Doc's are fully realized naturalistic rooms revealed behind the upstage wall. They play the scenes naturalistically, sometimes out of sight of the audience, but always being live captured from multiple angles.

Onto the choreo everyone will be talking about. The choreography has some exciting vocabulary. Uses a lot of modern vocabulary with hip hop street shapes and gesture mixed in. But unfortunately, whenever they start dancing, the story stops cold. It simply doesn't have the storytelling capabilities that Robbins did. Does it have less story than most Broadway numbers? Honestly, no less. But WEST SIDE is constructed with extended ballets that played to Robbins strength with narrative.

It's not surprising they're bringing some of his back. But I hope they can keep some elements of the new stuff, though. I'm having a hard time imagining all the Robbins dancing in this particular production.

Issac Powell is walking away with the show right now. Easily the best Tony I've ever seen. Charming, funny, quirky, passionate, unpredictable. If it were to open tomorrow, he could get a Tony nom.

Honestly, the rest of the cast seemed to be working to keep their head afloat tonight. And the choreography lacking storytelling is also failing some of the characters. It makes you realize how little some have to do outside of the dancing - namely, Bernando and Riff. And if the choreography isn't making your eyes follow that one character, then you lose a lot of their arcs.

Pacing and rhythm have a long way to go, and overall, the show struggles to really take off when they aren't singing.

Won't get into the usual previews things that will get fixed, like the major Sound issues and mixing. It was a mess, but they know it.

As for the cuts, I bet "I Feel Pretty" goes back in. The Ballet may not and I'm not sure this production needs it.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#110
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:37pm
Updated On: 12/10/19 at 10:37 PM
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#111
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:40pm
Do they sing “Somewhere” at all?

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#112
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:46pm

ljay889 said: "Do they sing “Somewhere” at all?

"

Yes - as I said above, it was actually the highlight of the show for me, 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#113
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:47pm

BJR, I think I liked it a bit more than you. JBroadway, I'm much more in agreement with your assessment.

BJR, I actually felt the OPPOSITE about the cut material. I think putting I Feel Pretty back in would really stop the show a bit and upset the tone of the show. I just don't feel like it would fit in well. A Somewhere ballet could be interesting, but the state the stage is in after the rumble, I imagine it would be quite dangerous physically. 

Gee Officer Krupke was indeed a bit heavy handed, but I thought pretty effective as well, ESPECIALLY that final "Krup You!".

Overall, the show is certainly incredibly violent and way darker than your typical WSS, but I felt it worked. 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#114
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:47pm

BJR said: "All right, here goes. Just got home.

Packed house. Sondheim a few rows ahead of me.

But y'all don't care about that. On to the show.

It's both not in as terrible shape as some would have you think. But also, they're really gonna need two months. Some folks will hate it, no question. But if they can pull off the right fixes, this could be a violent and vital production. Big "if"s, of course.

It's very modern, extremely minimal. Lots of live capture. Lots of rain.

The dress shop and Doc's are fully realized naturalistic rooms revealed behind the upstage wall. They play the scenes naturalistically, sometimes out of sight of the audience, but always being live captured from multiple angles.

Onto the choreo everyone will be talking about. The choreography has some exciting vocabulary. Uses a lot of modern vocabulary with hip hop street shapes and gesture mixed in. But unfortunately, whenever they start dancing, the story stops cold. It simply doesn't have the storytelling capabilities that Robbins did. Does it have less story than most Broadway numbers? Honestly, no less. But WEST SIDE is constructed with extended ballets that played to Robbins strength with narrative.

It's not surprising they're bringing some of his back. But I hope they can keep some elements of the new stuff, though. I'm having a hard time imagining all the Robbins dancing in this particular production.

Issac Powell is walking away with the show right now. Easily the best Tony I've ever seen. Charming, funny, quirky, passionate, unpredictable. If it were to open tomorrow, he could get a Tony nom.

Honestly, the rest of the cast seemed to be working to keep their head afloat tonight. And the choreography lacking storytelling is also failing some of the characters. It makes you realize how little some have to do outside of the dancing - namely, Bernando and Riff. And if the choreography isn't making your eyes follow that one character, then you lose a lot of their arcs.

Pacing and rhythm have a long way to go, and overall, the show struggles to really take off when they aren't singing.

Won't get into the usual previews things that will get fixed, like the major Sound issues and mixing. It was a mess, but they know it.

As for the cuts, I bet "I Feel Pretty" goes back in. The Ballet may not and I'm not sure this production needs it.
"

The Riff and Anita in the revival are also in the Spielberg film. 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#115
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:50pm
How intense is the Anita taunting scene? The 2008 staging of this scene was more intense than usual, but I’d imagine with Van Hove that it’s much more intense and violent.
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#116
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:50pm

Oh, I don't want it put back in! But I wonder if the audience might.

I quite liked it and will definitely be going back later, maybe even part way through previews.

But I just think it has a lot of work to really make it what I think it's aiming for. (For the record, I don't think it's a Carousel, where it's not even clear what the hell they're aiming for.) I can see the shape they're aiming for, but right now it's not sharp enough to fill the shape just yet.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#117
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:51pm

ljay889 said: "How intense is the Anita taunting scene? The 2008 staging of this scene was more intense than usual, but I’d imagine with Van Hove that it’s much more intense and violent."

Naturalistic. So, horrifying.

SouthernCakes
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#118
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:52pm
I just don’t get his obsession with video projecting things off stage? It’s so stagnant and not the reason we come to see live theater.
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#119
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:54pm

The taunting scene was VERY realistic. I did see a few people leave following it. Was in the mid orchestra on the right side, for reference.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#120
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:54pm

SouthernCakes said: "I just don’t get his obsession with video projecting things off stage? It’s so stagnant and not the reason we come to see live theater."

I think some scenes worked better than others. Frankly, the better the actor is at screen acting, the better the device fared.

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#121
Posted: 12/10/19 at 10:58pm

supersam1026 said: "The taunting scene was VERY realistic. I did see a few people leave following it. Was in the mid orchestra on the right side, for reference."

 

you're correct in your historical verbiage. it IS called "The Taunting scene " but that was a RAPE scene. Baby John's pants are pulled down Anita is pinned down, face down and he is put on her and her pants are down, through the video it seemed she was raped. There should be a trigger warning. It's disturbing. 

 

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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#122
Posted: 12/10/19 at 11:00pm

*Post removed to keep thread on track. It’s nice to see the show being discussed. Finally.

Updated On: 12/10/19 at 11:00 PM
SouthernCakes
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#123
Posted: 12/10/19 at 11:01pm
Are there any big scene changes or pieces or is it mostly blank and projections?
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#124
Posted: 12/10/19 at 11:02pm

Mercades said: "supersam1026 said: "The taunting scene was VERY realistic. I did see a few people leave following it. Was in the mid orchestra on the right side, for reference."



you're correct in your historical verbiage. it IS called "The Taunting scene " but that was a RAPE scene. Baby John's pants are pulled down Anita is pinned down, face down and he is put on her and her pants are down, through the video it seemed she was raped. There should be a trigger warning. It's disturbing.


"

Wow that’s a copy of what Laurents did in the very early previews of the 2008 revival. They used A-Rab and his pants were pulled down revealing his briefs. Arthur cut it quickly, and he would just unzipper his pants in the frozen version. Karen Olivo’s performance of this scene was terrifying and heartbreaking. 

Updated On: 12/10/19 at 11:02 PM
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WEST SIDE STORY (2019 Revival) Preview Thread#125
Posted: 12/10/19 at 11:03pm

SouthernCakes said: "Are there any big scene changes or pieces or is it mostly blank and projections?"

Scene changes are the back wall opening to show the rooms. Otherwise, open stage and projections.