The premiere of the musical took place at a sold-out venue in the Festival Hall of the Fine Arts Center.
Return “West Side Story” to local tables is an example of the capacity for reinterpretation that classical works have. Director Mark Santanaa Puerto Rican from New York, achieves a fresh, unique production without compromising the historical framework of Arthur Lawrence’s original text.
It is a fresh, elegant return to the stage with some exquisite production elements – acting, set design, costumes, choreography, lighting – that emphasize the most recognized values of this work in time: music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This time with a wonderful performance by an orchestra of 17 musicians under the direction of Maestro Angel “Cucco” Peña.
The performances and vocal interpretations of a wide cast of mostly young Puerto Rican talents, some from the diaspora, enhance the growth and maturity of musical theater in the local artistic activity, so much so that there is now no shortage of productions of this genre in the main theaters of the country. Choice Amanda Rivera and Kedward Aviles it was impossible to embody the stars “Maria” and “Tony” better. Both raised the romance of “Romeo and Juliet” (William Shakespeare) with moving vocal performances, especially in the most important songs, “María” and “Tonight”, with which they released the emotions of unrequited love from the beginning.
Rivera’s voice deserves exceptional applause. It is transparent, bright, which allows you to play with the equally strong and enthusiastic personality of “Maria”. Aviles also manages to convey with his voice the illusion and power that a woman evokes in him, which separates him from the environment of street violence, racism and xenophobia marked by the gangs of white Americans (the Jets) against Puerto Ricans (the Sharks). ) in New York in the 1950s.This is a social context that both makes visible and perpetuates prejudice and stereotypes against Puerto Ricans in the United States diaspora.
anna isabel like “Anita”, she is sparkling, mischievous. Her projection and mastery of choreography inevitably make the eye linger on her as she rocks her exquisite wardrobe (Alba Kercado). Vocally, he had a good moment with the song “America” along with another privileged voice, Sea light (“Rosalia”). Braulio Castillo he created a public safety officer, “Shrank,” with gestures and body movements that complemented the lines of his jacket.
The two-act performance includes a repertoire of about 16 songs, which on the part of the Sharks and the Jets transported the audience to an intense game of sensations. Majestic decorations according to the project Jose Manuel Diaz along with set-up and prop work Greg Barreto and lighting created Mextley Cousins, they effectively enhanced the emotional journey that takes place from the streets, balconies, bars and rooms of the old Big Apple.
“West Side Story” filled the Festival Hall of the Beaux-Arts Center in Santurce last night with the audience applauding every piece of music, including the actress. Rita Moreno, to which the new production is dedicated. The multi-talented entertainer’s presence was noticed even before the curtain rose at 7:23 p.m., as she was responsible for making herself felt, waving from the second-floor balcony.
After the musical ended, the entire cast immediately took the stage to a standing ovation from the audience, including those who had forgotten to turn off their cell phones. Braulio Castillo spoke on behalf of 32 talents (including the main cast, cast and ensemble) to thank the production company BAS Entertainment for the opportunity to present his art in a project that stood out as one of the highest.
Producer Ender Vega also took to the stage to introduce his two special guests, a playwright and an actor Lin Manuel Miranda, and Honorary Moreno. After an energetic greeting of “Hello, Puerto Rico!”, the creator of “Hamilton” celebrated what he saw on stage.
“We see a classic piece, the truth is that West Side Story’s music is one of the greatest of all time, and it opened up so much space for Latinos in the theater, but one that opened up more space than the whole world here with us, and I don’t want to waste any more time, Rita Moreno,” she said before handing the microphone to her friend.
The only Latin American artist among the famous “EGOTs” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winners), she greeted each participant individually, and at the same time waved her hand so that the audience’s applause did not subside. “My God, what a thing! It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” That was her reaction after seeing the play that won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1962 at a local theater.
“I should feel very proud. This is a moment in my life that happened a long time ago,” she said before posing from center stage with that natural flirt that defines her. It was his way of showing the vitality and humor he retains at 91. “It was such an important moment in my life, so exciting, and by the way, the Oscar, it was an incredible event for a Puerto Rican girl who came out of nowhere. somewhere and for me it was so… (sighed). I am already very excited, but I want to say that I am very proud that I was invited to this extraordinary event,” she thanked. He did not leave the stage without praising the “exciting” orchestra located in the pit area.
“Being here is one of the most interesting moments in my career. I’ve had a lot of exciting moments in my life, so when I tell you that this is one of the most exciting moments of my life, you have to believe that I’m telling you the truth.”
Santana’s West Side Story for Puerto Rico leaves yet another good impression of our theatrical and musical talent, while provoking thoughts about the racist/xenophobic reality that may no longer be seen after street gang rivalries, but it’s still latent wherever there is Boricua or Boricua, or Latin Americans in general, who represent.
Author: Rosalina Marrero-Rodriguez
Source: Prime Ahora