Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:
It was no surprise that “West Side Story” played to a full house on the opening night of its 4+ week run. The audience was abuzz in anticipation of the latest production directed by Bill Berry (5th Avenue Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director).
With The 5th Avenue’s spotlight on their Rising Star Project, The 5th has added another major dimension to the local draw for “West Side Story.” (If you’ve missed the details, they’re bringing 95 young people together to develop their own production of “West Side Story” in July.)
The musical number, “The Dance at the Gym,” rocked the stage with dynamic choreography, brilliant costuming. and surprising shimmer throughout the theatre. Danielle Marie Gonzalez, as Anita, was a standout in her characterization across the board. She, in my estimation, carried one of the most difficult scenes to new heights. A fun, light-hearted “Gee, Officer Krupke” added great comic relief and proved to be the champion crowd-pleaser of the night.
Through its age-old love story, “West Side Story” remains as timely now as ever – you can catch it on stage at The 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle, now through June 23, 2019. Tickets are going fast.
This production of “West Side Story” is presented in association with Spectrum Dance Theatre, with original choreography reproduced by Bob Richard and features a 25-piece orchestra.
Photo by Tracy Martin