Sunday, July 05, 2009

West Side Story

I trekked out to the Stratford Festival for the first time in maybe 5 years to see their production of West Side Story. I've never seen the movie in its entirety and have seen bits and pieces here and there, most recently the number that was performed on the Tonys. I was surprised by how many of the songs I actually knew without knowing that they were from WSS.

As to the performance - it was amazing! I can see now why Richard Ouzounian, the Star's theatre critic gave it such a rave review, calling it the one show you had to watch in the Ontario theatre circuit this year.

Chilina Kennedy, the actress who plays Maria was absolutely stunning - she was innocence and love, passion and heart-wrenching despair - the girl can cry on stage like I've never seen anyone cry before!

I had to remind myself of the play's context at different moments because I found some of the scenes and racist slurs offensive - otherwise, it was fantastic. Go see it. I can't imagine that anyone in what seemed like a full-house audience left disappointed.

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