Hey, folks: Here’s hoping that you can bear with me while I write yet another essay on a couple of movies that I’ve been thinking about lately, involving their differences (of which there are many) and their similarities.
Please note: This thread is cross-posted in firefly-dreaming.com, and part of this post (about West Side Story) is posted on the new leonardbernstein.com blog, in the West Side Story section. This, too, is my very own writing, and nobody else’s.
Hey, all…can you stand more on West Side Story?
I’ve got that on my mind as well. Here goes:
Pretty much everybody knows that West Side Story is my alltime favorite movie, hands down, and that I’m a devout fan of this great classic film who always feels like I’m seeing West Side Story for the first time. Inotherwords, it’s still fresh, imho. Although West Side Story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, this particular musical is still relevant, imho, because, although it’s fiction, it’s closer to reality in many respects; people from “opposite sides of the track” falling in love amid conflict on both sides, dating and even marrying, racial, ethnic and religious tensions, urban gang warfare, all of which still frequently gets played out in real life. People can and do even fall in love at first sight in real life, although in real life, even that takes time to grow and develop into something where mutual trust and love enable the love to mushroom into something really substantial, if one gets the drift.
Yet, I’m aware of the fact that in real life, gangs don’t go dancing through the streets, nor do they dance their way through street fights and all-out rumbles, which have now evolved into dangerous drive-by shootings and shootings on street corners in many neighborhoods, and gangs today are even more vicious than they were in times gone past. It used to be that gangs would stake out and protect their territory, in real life, but racial/ ethnic tensions and hostilities lent that protection of turf an even more vicious edge.
Since I’ve also seen several very good stage productions of West Side Story, I kind of have to say that West Side Story is my favorite stage musical, as well. In addition to the two screenings of the film version of WSS that I will be going to see; one at the Emerson College-owned Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston this coming Saturday night, and the other at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, in mid-November (I’ve already got tickets for both of those screenings), I will be taking my youngest nephew and my niece to a matinee show of the latest Broadway stage revival of West Side Story here in Boston. I’ve read a number of reviews on this latest WSS Broadway revival; some good, some not so good. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to see this particular production of the stage version of West Side Story, but some other people’s suggestion, I went down to the Colonial Theatre here on Boston’s Boylston Street, and purchased some rather expensive mezzanine tickets. It’s well that I did, since they’re going fast, and there weren’t many mezzanine tickets left, and I didn’t want the balcony, because that would’ve been too far away.