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  1. Thanks for your review, the only one I can find with any sort of constructive criticism. Every other reveiw is gushingly glowing! I saw the show last night and while overall I really enjoyed it, I have to agree that the main couple lacked charisma, were at times too operetic and that the stage looked empty! I believe the cast handled the energetic dancing and singing well, though. Perhaps they got a handle on it by the time they arrived in Adelaide. The musicians and conductor in the small orchestra were very very good and really helped to hold it all together!

    I’ve not seen any other productions of WSS so cannot compare but have seen enough musicals to feel this was not in the top class. I also found the ‘dream’ scene rather flat and out of place – will check out the original version to see what was done there.

    Thanks again for the review.

  2. I saw WSS yesterday afternoon and agree with your review. While the cast had lovely singing voices and could definitely dance it was lack lustre. Tony and Maria came across as bit players (Jenna Baxter played Maria) when they are the focus of the story. The costumes for the most part looked cheap and tacky, denim or any sort of mini skirts were not fashionable in the 50’s so I am lost to understand what they were thinking there. Even Anita and her friends dresses were less than spectacular, scarf hemlines were also non existent. The ticket prices warranted a lot more attention to detail, in staging, costumes and while those kids are great talents with the exception of Alinta they lacked the dramatic talent to pull it together. The “Somewhere” seen with them dressed in white came across as a filler, perhaps I’m just into the symbolism.

  3. I totally agree with you Cashy about this latest version of West Side Story. I saw West Side Story in 1994 at The Princess Theatre in Melbourne and absolutely loved it, it had passion which is what this latest version lacks. Marina Pryor made a very beautiful Maria and you really believed her character unlike Julie Goodwin who has a lovely voice but did not make a convincing Maria. I bought tickets for my partner who had never seen West Side Story and we were both disappointed. We found it a bit so so.

  4. Love your work Cashy! Shame you didn’t like it though … sorry to get your hopes up, maybe I should have kept my trap shut 🙂

    I totally agree with you on the production value of the staging … not impressive. I agree that the overuse of the vibrato was unnecessary – though it didn’t detract from the clarity and the warmth of tone enough for me to react as strongly, but I can see how it could annoy.

    I’m not sure if I agree with the ‘too young’ call though. The leads were in their mid to late 20s … wasn’t Juliet 13 when she met Romeo? The naivety and innocence of Maria’s character is clear in the dialogue. It would seem ridiculous for a 30 or 40 something Maria to be hastened in from the balcony by her ‘papa’ or to see a 40 year old gang of ‘teenage’ hoodlums rumbling at the playground 🙂

    I don’t think it’s easy to equate age with ability … Verity Hunt-Ballard is of a similar age as the cast of WSS, and yet her role could easily have been played by a woman well into her 30s or 40s – but obviously she was deemed the best woman for the role, despite having done … not much at all in professional theatre. For all her credentials, I was not convinced that the close to 50 year old Caroline O’Connor (who did Fosse like my grandmother does the Pasodoble) was the best choice (even if she was the most obvious choice) for Velma in the 2009 revival of Chicago.

    As for the singing, I think it’s a bit harsh to expect five barrel turns, a flick kick, jazz drag, a punch, knee slide, and … now HIT that high Ab above C boys! Yes, true, it could have been better, and those kids on Broadway sure nailed it, but I’m not sure it’s fair to suggest that ‘experienced’ Todd McKenney or Marina Prior (who in MP was truly ‘serviceable’) would not have struggled to get that volume up and by golly E-LO-CUTE!

    I didn’t mind the costuming. I’m not easily offended by pink pastel 🙂 I’m still with Miley on this one!

    Thanks Cashy for the thought provoking review though!