West Side Story

Showing 13 – 30 September 2017.

WEST SIDE STORY – at MBS Grand Theatres


60 years since its Broadway Debut West Side Story is a love story about a young Maria and Tony – weighing on them are pressing social issues of their time. Rival gangs, from immigrants to racism, these themes are tackled in the story.  Things like interracial marriage, cultural identity and assimilation was explored. Very relevant to the Singapore audiences considering we’re all immigrants or at least our ancestors were.  Also on inter racial marriages and how its met with opposition from one’s families and friends, common topic except that in this story it ends up in tragedy…

You can go on about how great Stephen Sondheim is but I wasn’t too impressed by the music in the show. Well perhaps reading it in a book would do it better for me. But the musical I felt was chaotic (as gangs should be one might say) – at times it was draggy, other times the music didn’t cut it for me. I did like the puerto rican bits, how colorful their culture was and how classy /sensual they looked. But I didn’t like how to story was played out, to summarize, Maria and Tony were from foreign racial groups and gangs that clashed. They fall in love, their love is met with opposition of course, meanwhile themes running parallel were gang rivalry,which ends up in the murder of Maria’s Brother by Tony. And bizarre as it is Maria forgives Tony for this and proceeds to ….sleep with him . This bit didn’t quite gel well for me and I was questioning the F out of it lol. The story ends with Tony being killed, and then Maria who seemingly wants to kill to when she found out he was dead.

MARIA: “All of you! You all killed him! And my brother, and Riff. Not with bullets, or guns, with hate. Well now I can kill, too, because now I have hate! ” the quote perhaps comes out much stronger in words then in the chaotic scenes of the theatre.

Tickets https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/westside1017

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