Feedback | The West Side Story and its stereotypes are moronic

Feedback | The West Side Story and its stereotypes are moronic

From the very beginning, recent arrivals didn’t like what they saw on Broadway. New York’s most publicized Spanish-language newspaper of the time called for a picket at the La Prensa premiere, and Puerto Rican journalist and labor organizer Jesse Callan lamented that the show was “excessive and sensitive” and “not always out of context with my people’s real history, culture and , Along with the commentary With the following decades, this tradition of protest and criticism is just another He became richer and more collectively frustrated.

Mr. Bernstein’s music and the choreography of Jerome Robbins are often characterized by liberal patrons’ release of music; Critic of the Los Angeles Times Despite the Broadway revival of 25, the score praised the “extraordinary variety and operatic fulfillment” and the “ecstasy” of dance numbers. But I have always wondered how the creators of the musical missed the opportunity to engage in the talent of the Afro-Caribbean Polyrimim. Jim’s scene “Mambo”, rhythmically, is not a mambo, and the famous rooftop number “America” ​​has the Spanish-Spanish peso double mishmash danced with whitewashed showbiz jazz.

When actors like Mrs. Moreno succeed in telling distinct ways of moving neurosis, they seem to be under pressure to do so in abusive situations. In theory, “West Side Story” There is something to be said about the experience of imitation. But in practice, the musical Its Puerto Rican demands integration from performers, then capitalizing on the glorious virtue of their ability to resist it.

The directors of more recent productions have tried to adapt the “West Side Story” as culturally relevant and somewhat politically correct. The revival of। was first performed by a Puerto Rican actor in Maria’s character, and the Recovery of the 20 listed Lin-Manuel Miranda for some bilingual dialogue. Mr. Van Hove has followed his lead on duty in the latest Broadway stage: Sharks played by Latinx performers, and the lyrics include the striking urban Spanish patter. Bodega looks like a real bodega.

And notably, choreographer Ann Teresa de Kiersmaker leaves in favor of loose, feral syncopation developed in collaboration with the choreographers behind the bright lines of Jerome Robbins’ original number. Of course, only Latin rhythms can bring music to fruition by maintaining a functional relationship with Leonard Bernstein’s score – aesthetics or political, perhaps a subject lesson in the constraints of reform.

Where Mr. Van Hove has taken away from the previous stupas, the brutality of the plot is doubled. I still can’t shake the coolness that the winners have had in the show’s third act as they try to rape Anita. It’s magnetic on stage on a giant screen, captured by one of the jets on its cellphone camera.. The screen ownership in this production will remind us how easy it has always been to reproduce, resurrect and restore spectacular violence. Yet I am not sure how deeply Mr. Van Hove has understood the implications of his own choices here.

According to Scott Rudin, one of the show’s producers, Mr. Van Hove “doesn’t recover as straight as he did, because to him, they don’t.” Since Mr. Van Hove has “no iconic relationship” with the “West Side Story”, he cannot feel the torturous repetitions of his history of violence against hardened brown women. For many of us, however, when we see that Anita has been humiliated for dramatic effect, every time she is exposed to greater truth.

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