Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Stick to your own kind

AFTER A YEAR, I decided to watch again a musical in Belfast. The New Lyric has a limited staging of The West Side Story at Grand Opera House this week. This is a non-professional production, which means that the peformers are talented amateurs assembled by the performing company.

The musical revolves around the two rival New York gangs - Sharks and Jets. Tony (leader of Jets) met Maria - the sister of Bernardo (leader of Sharks) and it is a love at first sight and it leads to a blossoming romance. Unfortunately, because of cultural and ethnic differences, the romance between Maria and Tony is under threat which also brings more disagreements and clashes between the gangs. It is a tragic ending, but it brought the two groups united.

The song numbers include: Tonight, Maria, One Hand One, Heart, and America being accompanied by the New Lyrica Orchestra.

In particular, the stage set-up is simple but it perfectly shows the urban setting of New York. The main performances from Tony and Maria, including the group productions are beautifully executed. The actors behind Tony and Maria did wonderful performances that brought few of the patrons to tears.

New Lyric is considered as the top company by the Association of Irish Musical Socities with huge successes from previous productions such as The Witches of Eastwick, Capacabana, Calamity Jane, 42nd Street and Wizard of Oz.

For lyrics of the songs, CLICK HERE...Adapted from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, staged in 1957, and won the Tony Awards for Scenic Designer and Choreographer in 1958.

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