WEST SIDE STORY is a modern-day ROMEO AND JULIET. It takes place in the mid-1950’s in New York City, in a blue-collar neighborhood. The musical explores rival gangs, the Jets (Caucasian’s) and The Sharks (Puerto Rican’s). Tony, a former Jet, falls in love with Maria who is the sister of the Shark’s gang. The musical is dark, yet highly impactful.
Walking into the Spreckels Theatre downtown San Diego, I was blown away. It’s over 100 years old and absolutely stunning. As the curtain opened, the audience members clapped. The scaffolding and lighting were picture perfect. This was one of those shows that had me grinning ear to ear and thinking “this is why I love musical theater”. The choreography by Randy Slovacek was mesmerizing. Each dance scene was so entrancing, I never wanted it to end. I’d love to know the kick count for the show! Jeffrey Scott Parsons who played Riff, was a great leader. His facial expressions were compelling and he took on the “tough guy” demeanor well. Siri Hafso was a perfect dance partner with Riff. Each time they were on stage together, I was completely drawn to what they were doing. Jacob Caltrider (Tony) and Jessica Soza (Maria) both had marvelous voices. At times, their chemistry didn’t seem believable but their performances were top-notch which overshadowed that aspect. The Jets harmonies were outstanding and they guys really embodied a young gang.
San Diego Musical Theatre’s motto is “The Local way to see Broadway.” Their production of WEST SIDE STORY was just that; a brilliant adaptation of the classic story. Go see this show!
More information here: http://www.sdmt.org/
Rating: To Be