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

The Formative Years – The Pushead 100

Posted by T
Nov. 22, 2020, 3:15 p.m.

The Formative Years – The Pushead 100 Having just entered my teenage years and developed an insatiable appetite for hardcore punk, spurned by my discovery of The Exploited, which lured ... read more

Water of Life - Milk & Honey Distillery

Posted by T
Nov. 21, 2020, 6:57 p.m.

Water of Life - Milk & Honey Distillery   One of my whisk(e)y related endeavours is to try emissions from regions that are commonly not really associated with spirits. Needless ... read more

Surf Culture, Barney Cools & the Return of Fabrics

Posted by T
Nov. 19, 2020, 7:08 p.m.

High Adventures in the Great Outdoors Surf Culture, Barney Cools and the return of fabrics   Surf culture and the music it is associated with is an interesting genre. Coined ... read more

Water of Life – Visions in Style

Posted by T
Nov. 16, 2020, 5:43 p.m.

Water of Life – Visions in Style What makes a great whisky tasting? I have been lucky to attend a wide range of whisky tastings on this earthround. Some were ... read more

Water of Life - GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Series

Posted by T
Nov. 14, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

Water of Life - GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Series   GlenAllachie is an interesting distillery – interesting in that it had been on the radar for the longest time, but for ... 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.