13-15 August 2015
Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
Yesterday evening, I was delighted to have the opportunity to watch this year’s Stage Experience of West Side Story at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. I have been a big fan of Leonard Bernstein’s popular musical for many years, so I was really excited at the prospect of seeing it live on stage.
West Side Story is an updated Romeo and Juliet story, with two lovers, Tony and Maria, beautifully played by Sam Berrie and Rebecca Bolton. Two rival gangs, the Caucasian Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks fight on the streets of 1950’s New York with tragic consequences for the pair of lovers.
This was a spectacular performance from all the young cast with marvellous choreography from Rachel Catherall. It is obvious that the cast members enjoy being on stage as they looked like they were loving every minute. Highlights included the Sharks’ girls performing “America” with wonderful 17 year old Isabella Dawson playing Anita, singing, dancing and swishing her skirt about. Another marvellous comic moment was the performance of “Gee Officer Krupke” which really was one of the star turns of the night. The entire cast sang “Somewhere” beautifully, with a choir on the balcony joining in with the singing. The final scene, when Maria wept over Tony’s body, was so moving that it brought a tear to my eye.
This really is a marvellous show. It is difficult to believe that the cast are so young as the performance was so assured and professional.
I enjoyed every moment of the musical and came out singing. Go and see this show if you get the chance. You will love it.
Tickets cost £18.90 (plus £4 transaction fee).
West Side Story is at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until 15 August 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3019.
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT | 0844 871 3019