West Side Story – Leicester Curve
If any song should be changed in this show, its Tony’s “Something’s Coming”, to “Something’s Arrived” and boy its arrived at Leicester Curve, just in time for Christmas.
Over sixty years since it was first written, this show has lost nothing in time. Its lineage reaching back to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, before Steven Sondheim worked his magic to create a 1950s modern story-line that paid more than a nod to the work of Shakespeare. It is still as relevant today as it was all those years ago. Gang warfare, forbidden love across races, knife crime and juvenile delinquency sounds like a typical Saturday night across many a city of the UK.
This production by The Curve is everything you would expect from West Side Story, amazing singing, foot tapping dance routines, energetic acting performances, breath taking set design & lighting all accompanied most excellently by a comprehensive Orchestra conducted by George Dyer.
Nearly every member of the cast deserves a mention for their own performances, but there’s always stand out leads, and in Jamie Muscato as Tony, he delivers the passion, love, angst and dark drama of the role; his vocal performance faultless.
His forbidden love Maria, portrayed by Puerto Rican Adriana Ivelisse, making her professional debut in the UK looked every part the Maria we all imagine; a hopeful romantic, full of naivety & innocence. Again, she delivered some good vocal performances. However, vocal delivery of the night is from Carly Mercedes Dyer as Anita, Maria’s best friend. Her renditions of “America” & “A Boy Like That/I Have a Love” were excellent, and to tie in the dance routine for America, she delivered on both counts.
Other notable mentions go to Beth Hinton-Lever, who gains empathy from the audience as the full of energy tomboy Anybodys, who doggedly tries to be accepted by the Jets but remains unsuccessful. Also worthy of a mention is the Jets ensemble for their performance of “Gee, Officer Krupke”, the comedic factor helping break the tension around the ongoing gang troubles and ending with the loudest audience applause of the night.
Under the direction of Nikolai Foster & with the choreography of Ellen Kane, The Curve have not just maintained the “Class” in a classic show, but more renovated an old master, bringing fresh new dance routines, whilst retaining the integrity of the original show.
There is not one weakness in this production, and with it running until 11th January at The Curve, Leicester, there is plenty of time to put this on your Santa wish list and make sure you don’t miss out on a real treat this Christmas.
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