Failing to win various contests to get to see West Side Story, I chanced upon a tweet from Broadway Across Canada letting people know about half price tickets’ availability at Tickets Tonight, which I only learned until then.
Securing the tickets was really easy as I went so early in the morning, thinking line ups similar to NYC’s TKTS, but no, there wasn’t any line up at all, and the staff was basically waiting for people to assist. But I am digressing already…
The evening performance was done by the full cast except for one, and once inside the Queen E Theatre, you can feel the audience’s energy pre-show.
The show itself was what I expected it to be. The Jerome Robbins’ original choreography done flawlessly by the ensemble, providing effective support to the principals.
Mary Joanna Grisso, who played Maria, did the part so well and her chemistry with her Tony, Jarrad Biron Green, was wonderful, they came across very believable in portraying the couple you can see how the audience appreciated them come curtain call.
Bias and all, though, the most stand out character for me will be Anita. It’s always had been Anita, and Michelle Alvez couldn’t have done it any better. She differentiated herself from the familiar portrayal by Rita Moreno, yet, retaining the fire and spunk, and heart that the character calls for.
The pre-show and intermission scrim
The orchestra pit, taken during intermission
In a nutshell, this production, which is the same 2009 version on Broadway, was an effective one in getting this generation to experience the classic.