Thursday May 13, 2010
West Side thrills this side of town
By ELAINE DONG
KUALA LUMPUR: The award-winning Broadway musical West Side Story opened in style at Istana Budaya here, kicking off the Malaysian leg of its 50th anniversary world tour.
The anticipation and excitement were almost palpable among the audience and when the curtains finally went up last night and the iconic balcony came into sight, the magic began.
This retelling of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet is set in 1950s New York. Rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, provide the colourful backdrop for the story between star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria.
Chad Hilligus and Sofia Escobar, who played Tony and Maria respectively, were together on stage for the first time and the chemistry between them left the audience wanting more. As the cast belted out well-loved classics like Maria, America, I Feel Pretty, One Hand, One Heart and Tonight, most in the audience were seen mouthing the lyrics.
Prior to the show, the audience stood for the national anthem.
The 70-member cast and crew, all of whom were flown in at the end of April for set-up and rehearsals, worked hard to bring the poignant love story to the Malaysian audience.
The choreography was flawless and the costumes, breathtaking.
Malaysia is the only stop in South-East Asia for this landmark world tour. West Side Story — The Original Broadway Musical is on until May 24.
The show is brought here by Yvents! in partnership with HSBC Bank MalaysiaBhd and supported by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry. The Star is the media partner.
HSBC customers will enjoy a 15% discount on tickets. For bookings, call Ticketspeople at 03-2287 2727 or log on to ticketspeople.com. For corporate bookings, call 03-2287 2811.