West Side Story, a classic among musicals, debuted on Broadway in 1957. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, while set on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the mid-1950’s, it has been considered a ground-breaking production: “The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theater” (Wikipedia article). I first heard about the musical because of its Hollywood movie version, starring the very beautiful, talented and tragic Natalie Wood. Though I’ve been hearing about it all my life, I’ve only actually seen a few scenes from the movie, though, like this one (social issues under scrutiny aside, Wood’s pseudo-Puerto Rican accent, giddy girly self-confidence and antics, and everything else are just absolutely adorable here):
Good news for those in Leipzig (including me), the “east side” mentioned in the headline (of Germany, that is): West Side Story is coming here, premiering this Saturday, June 20. Coming here with a twist. You see, according to the related Opera Leipzig press release, shot my way by our arts columnist Maeshelle West-Davies, the version to be presented in Leipzig “is a cross-genre project of Oper Leipzig and Leipzig Ballet.” Myrthes Monteiro (from my native Brazil!) and Carsten Lepper head the cast locally as “star-crossed lovers” Maria and Tony. I’m very intrigued and very much looking forward to experiencing what the cross between “star-crossed lovers” and “cross-genre” could mean. You could check it out already on opening night, Saturday at 7. The local run of West Side Story continues, though, for dates spread over some months. For the complete rundown on dates and tickets, visit http://www.oper-leipzig.de/de/programm/west-side-story/54709.
For more events happening in Leipzig this weekend, visit us at http://www.facebook.com/leipglo.