Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Like To Be In A-Mer-EE-Ca...

Hot on the heels of Zac Efron announcing he is dropping out of the upcoming film remake of Footloose (BTW - that movie should not be remade, anyway, whether it's with Zac or not), promotion here in NYC has seemed to go into overdrive for the Broadway return of my absolute favorite musical ever, West Side Story.

I've yet to get my tickets yet because I just haven't had the time to get together with my girlfriends to settle on a date, but you best believe I'm gonna be there, reveling in all of the Stephen Sondheim glory. I don't usually post about Broadway shows, but let it be known, I've been a Broadway freak since I was about 11 years old and I saw Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun. Ever since, I've been priviledged enough to see more Broadway shows that I can count on three hands, and dozens more tour shows that would visit our hometown.

West Side Story, for those of you who don't know (and if you don't...please, go rent the original -- you are in need of some schooling), is a revamped 1950's version of Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet", set to grooving tunes of the jive and latin persuasion, with the famous feuding families being replaced by feuding gangs ("American" and "Puerto Rican") in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan.

The show first came to Broadway in 1957, and was nominated for Best Musical, but lost to The Music Man. A big screen version arrived in 1961, starring the late Natalie Wood and the incomparable Rita Moreno, and won several Academy Awards that year, including Best Picture.

A series of promotional photographs have surfaced featuring celebrities in the famous roles of Tony, Maria, Anita and Bernardo, and they make me so psyched to see the real thing on the Broadway stage -- something I've waited for since I was eight years old and saw the film! In the picture at the top, Maria is portrayed by actress Camilla Belle (in the white dress on the left), an interesting choice, but she definitely does resemble Natalie Wood...My fave of the photos is this one:

The woman in the dark purple dress in the center dancing, as Anita, is of course, Ms. Jennifer Lopez. An obvious choice. :)

Now, get psyched with me and check out these clips of two of my absolute favorite songs from this epic musical. The first is "America", featuring banter between Anita and Bernardo, and the second is the "Tonight (Reprise)" which highlights the musical's most well-known duet ("Tonight") between the "Romeo & Juliet" characters Tony & Maria, layered in in an opera style with the two gangs and Anita.

1 comment:

Myfizzypop said...

amazingly this was played IN A BAR in gran canaria on holiday this week (not the whole movie, just America). I was singing along like crazy. I love the whole interaction thing "you forget i'm in am-eeer-eee-KA!"

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