West Side Story has a special place in my heart. As a hopelessly awkward eighth grader, I somehow got cast as Anita in the school production, mamboing in my bright red dress and turning on the attitude to deliver lines dripping with innuendos that I probably didn’t understand. My first kiss was even on that stage, in front of an audience of 500 – a clumsy rite of passage that only barely parallels the hopelessly fantastical coming of age triumphs and tragedies within the musical.
The 2011 Broadway Across America national tour of West Side Story has taken up residence at Boston’s gorgeous Colonial Theatre for three weeks of June and July. The modern Romeo and Juliet story is beautiful in its naivete: desperately hopeful teenagers thinking that love will overcome the obstacles brought about by nothing more than their place of birth. Even the tough-acting members of the rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, seem so very young and innocent (despite being played by 30-something men).
Read the rest of my article over on CBS Boston.