Blog West Side Story @ Sydney Opera House

West Side Story @ Sydney Opera House

Posted Aug. 25, 2019, 10:14 a.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground

West Side Story

Opera House

August 20, 2019

Sydney, Australia

 

There are few dance musicals that are as internationally known as the result of the joint effort between the quartet of what has become well established as luminaries in the world of musical, i.e. of Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents,  Jerome Robbins and  Stephen Sondheim.

If you think you are unfamiliar, think again – some of the songs of the score are inextricably linked to the pop cultural fabric of the 20th century.

Based on the classic Romeo and Juliet dynamic, the classic love story is transported into the concrete jungle of NYC where the Montagues and Capulets are replaced by the Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, rival gangs fighting over local turf.

True to its original choreography, the Australian incarnation under the directorial guidance of Joey McKneely epitomises the essence of what the nostalgic, energising melange of theatrical, dance and immensely enjoyable score set out to be.

The committed triple threat ensemble delivered on all fronts – spectacularly realised dancing incorporating jazz, Latin and ballet style elements nuanced with near pitch perfect vocal feats reminiscent of both opera and traditional styles that set the narrative elements in scene, nuanced by the emissions and ardent score of a wonderful orchestra that only enhanced the emotional pull the captivating traditional tale enacts.

A stripped back yet atmospheric set design focussing on the balconies of New York’s 1950 underclass quarters with large scenic elements moving seamlessly into place as required, put the spotlight solely on the highly energetic performances, enduring melodies and choreography.

I have seen Westside Story in NYC where it originally emerged as well as in Europe and the Australian production is in no way less dramatic, entertaining without embellishing it – au contraire the set design and unique ambience of the Sydney Opera House gives it an x-factor that adds intimacy to a finger snapping, high-kicking irresistible evening that celebrates diversity with its vivid characters and carries a simple yet powerful and universal message.

---

Photo courtesy of Prudence Upton

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Search/Play/Repeat - March

Posted by Aaron H
April 1, 2020, 7:35 p.m.

March: Isolation How's everyone doing? I hope you're reading this from the comfort of your own home. Needless to say, it's been a rough, wild, stressful, and terrifying month. I ... read more

Hot Stuff – Crowley’s Hot Sauce

Posted by T
March 28, 2020, 10:03 a.m.

Hot Stuff – Crowley’s Hot Sauce   The good ole, reliable “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley once quipped that the pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, ... read more

Girlvert memoir by Oriana Small

Posted by T
March 27, 2020, 9:24 p.m.

Girlvert: A Porno Memoir Oriana Small Rare Bird Books   The title of this tome is a telling one as it details a span of ten years that evolve from ... read more

Static Shock Weekend

Posted by Mirza
March 23, 2020, 8:30 p.m.

Static Shock Weekend London, UK March 2020 It feels weird to be writing this review now. Just days after returning from London and Static Shock Records annual DIY hardcore punk ... read more

Caspar David Friedrich: Nature and the Self

Posted by T
March 20, 2020, 7:06 p.m.

Caspar David Friedrich: Nature and the Self Yale University Press   Classifying Caspar David Friedrich’s oeuvre and paintings as “atmospheric” would be an understatement par excellence. The way CDF channelled ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.