I missed the film and I had always wanted to see this famous show. Today, out of the blue I got an invitation to see it at Balai Budaya and in spite of a bad left leg ( it seems that a swelling in my thigh hits my nerves sending sparks throughout my left limb and making my left foot numb and painful), I still ventured out.
The show is fantastic if you're into dances, songs and music. But you've to read the synopsis of the play first to really understand and appreciate the story as portrayed through the songs and dances with minimal theatrics or acting. I didn't have time to read the synopsis but I think I got about 85% of the story right, as confirmed later when I did the reading at home.
Perhaps I shouldn't tell it out so that those who are going to see the show later will not be deprived of the guessing game that makes a stage show more interesting. But the story has been told many times, so let me touch a little on the plot. Two gangs, the jets and the Sharks were fighting for dominance in New York's upper Westside, the jets being Americans with Polish roots while the Sharks were Puerto Rican immigrants. They clashed and their leaders, Riff and Bernado agreed to a duel. Tony, a friend of Riff who worked at a Drugstore triedd to stop the fight. At a dance Tony met Maria, Bernado's sister who had just arrived in US, and fell in love at first sight with her. The duel which turned out to be a free-for-all ended as a knife-fight and Riff was killed. Tony, grieving over his friends death killed Bernado, his lovers brother. What happens then....you had better watch the show.
Well, I could not stop to admire the beautiful physics of the male actors and dancers, real hunkies yet so subtle and perfect in their dance movements. The ladies were of course superb ballet dancers and suprano singers. Local productions performed by our local artists have also reached a respectable standard nowadays. But the physics of the actors, with the exception of Awie perhaps, leaves a lot of room for improvement. As for the dances, local production seems to me still wanting in synchronization of intricate movements when dancing in a big group. The vocals in the Westside Story production was to say the least amazing.
Well, I really enjoyed it although the kissing and the bed scene might not have been too comforting to local audience,especially when Tony really got off the bed with Maria, in his underpants.