“West Side Story” -- Bold and Exciting!

Published: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 By: Camille Kaiser Source: The Cue

“West Side Story” -- Bold and Exciting!

This beloved, timeless classic comes alive once again merging Romeo and Juliet with gritty New York street gangs in a combination of drama, dance and song as only WBT can do it. Of all the “West Side Story” productions I have seen, this one is without a doubt the most compelling.

Zach Trimmer as Tony and Carly Evans as Maria are gripping in their portrayal of two passionate young people who are caught in the rivalry of their respective communities. Maria’s performance in the final scene was so powerful it seemed as if the audience had actually stopped breathing. Maria and Tony’s vocal talent is extraordinary as well, and they enthralled the audience with ”Maria”, “Tonight“, “One Hand, One Heart”.

The dance talent in this production is exceptional and something I have not often seen. The company perfectly executed Barry McNabbs’ (director/choreographer) innovative choreography taking us smoothly through the story, and the fight scenes between the Jets and Sharks were expressive and mesmerizing.

Anita (Allison Thomas Lee) and Maria have good chemistry and delight the audience with “A Boy Like That” and “I Have A Love”. Riff (Adam Soniak) of the Jets and Bernardo (Brandon Contreras) of the Sharks have appropriately contrasting personalities but obviously similar objectives. Anybody’s (Maggie McGrath) is a standout with her fiery personality and diminutive size.

Meticulous attention was given to every detail in the production -- set, lighting, sound, costuming. WBT went above and beyond in this one and included a Puerto Rican dish in their menu - a pleasant surprise!

This production is exhilarating and brought the audience to its feet. It continues through July 5th. Don’t miss it. For reservations, call 914-592-2222.


Camille Kaiser