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Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
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West Side Story Production Earns High Praise

by Rita Kohn
June 4, 2013
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317-940-6444
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
An emotionally engaged cast brings depth and breadth to the characters and their lives in this newest version of the 60-year-old modern classic retelling of lovers caught in the crosshairs of a society fanning hatred as their solidifying mantra. Their raw energy heightens both the tragedy of gang warfare and the seemingly impossible dream of a better world. Humor tumbles against pathos in rapid order, pulsating through the brilliant book, music, lyrics and choreography. No matter how many other times you've seen West Side Story, this Broadway in Indianapolis production with its pointedly stark stage setting and bold lighting achingly brings us into Tony's yearning and Maria's hopes. Their innocence is a tender foil in opposition to the biting cynicism of elders who become powerless to guide and lead. When the large-hearted Anita succumbs to hurtfulness when treated with indignity, the effect is an emotional pall on the audience. We are Anita, taunted, violated, demeaned. "When are you hoodlums going to stop," implores Doc. Indeed, when? Shakespeare said as much in the 17th century. Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins again asked in the 20th. Somehow over six decades we have forgotten to hear, listen, react. This touring company, poignantly directed by David Saint bristles with brisk, energetic choreography reproduced by Joey McNeely. Every cast and crew-member earns high praise.
West Side Story Company.

West Side Story Company.

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg


West Side Story Company.

West Side Story Company.

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg


West Side Story Company.

West Side Story Company.

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg


West Side Story Company.

West Side Story Company.

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg


West Side Story Company.

West Side Story Company.

Photo © & courtesy of Carol Rosegg

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