WEST SIDE STORY REVIVAL
"West Side Story" returns to Broadway tomorrow, but I was able to see a preview performance last night at the Palace Theatre in Times Square.
It was a full house with an audience from different generations. Although the plot is still the same, this production of "West Side Story" is in some way different than the original making it- from the audience's reaction- a stronger show. For one thing, original songs like "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That" were performed in Spanish. And it turns out that Lin Manuel-Miranda, the creator of the Tony-winning musical "In the Heights," was the mastermind behind the translation. Apparently, it was a smart move and was accepted by the audience. Non-Spanish speaking people sitting behind me were singing along to the rhythm, although the lyrics were in Spanish.
The show received a standing ovation. Karen Olivo who left "In the Heights" for the role of Anita was spectacular. I wasn't able to get my eyes off her. And I have to admit that she's the reason I was looking forward to seeing the show. Chita Rivera played Anita in the original "West Side Story" in 1957.
Argentine Josefina Scaglione plays Maria. I was skeptical of the opera-trained 21-year-old, but she too was a joy to watch. - Mercedes Sanchez
Celebrity Sightings: "The View" co-host Joy Behar; actress Lucy Liu. I also ran into my my middle school history teacher who was with high school students from Chicago.