It's hard not to come out humming after seeing West Side Story. Topic as America or Mary they are still as catchy as when they were composed by Leonard Bernstein in the fifties for their premiere on Broadway, popularized later by the 1961 film version. The best thing about the new staging of this great musical that has just arrived in Madrid is that it rescues that score with fidelity, a lot of nerve and good voices. And also the original choreographies of Jerome Robbins.
The show, directed by Federico Barrios, is a very careful production of the Som house – makers of the great success Billy Elliot, which is still on the bill – which seems to bet on the voice and the dance. The performers, good singers and dancers, shine especially in the musical numbers, but not so much in the spoken scenes: very rigid in the first performances. Maybe with the shooting they achieve more naturalness.
In the main cast, the voices of the protagonist lovers stand out – let's remember: this is a version of Romeo and Juliet transferred to the gangster world of New York-, interpreted by Javier Ariano and Talía del Val, although the decision to put them to sing in different styles sings: she, lyric; He, more melodic. Maybe that's why his love scenes are somewhat imposed. And it is impossible not to divert attention to Silvia Álvarez, in the role of Anita, when she comes on stage: it is all presence.
The scenography of Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda, striking and suggestive, is sometimes lackluster because it seems intended for a larger stage. The same thing happens to the choreographies in which many dancers participate: they are seen crammed up there.
West Side Story. Leonard Bernstein / Jerome Robbins / Arthur Laurents / Stephen Sondheim. Direction of Federico Barrios. Calderón Theater. Madrid. No date of departure.