West Side Story Review and Pics: Ivo van Hove’s thrilling, homoerotic, incoherent Broadway Music Video

What’s most remarkable about Ivo van Hove’s shake-up of West Side Story is, for all the Belgian director’s ruinous choices – chief among them, an overabundance of distracting video projections – he doesn’t completely ruin what’s most thrilling about this 63-year-old musical updating of Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Bernstein’s music remains a miracle of melody and mood, rendered glorious by a 25-piece orchestra with orchestrations by the legendary 81-year-old Jonathan Tunick. If much of the singing doesn’t especially stand out in this production, Isaac Powell and Shereen Pimentel as the star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria give us what we need: They offer powerful evidence why the songs they sing — “Maria,” “Tonight,” “One Hand/One Heart” and “Somewhere” – are not just universally beloved; they can still make you cry.

For aficionados of West Side Story, there are many other, less salutary reasons to get emotional.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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