The Muny’s West Side Story is an unforgettable experience, whether you’re a fan of the original or a newcomer to the story. Check out the details in my parents guide review.
The Muny’s West Side Story has come to St. Louis, playing at The Muny from July 15 through July 21. This production at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri, brings to life the beloved musical with a modern take on the original story. With a vibrant score from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, this classic musical takes the audience on a journey of young love, heartache, and violence between two rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. Check out all the details in my parents guide review.
If you enjoyed The Muny’s West Side Story parents guide review, check out these other articles: The Muny’s Rent parents guide musical review, The Muny’s Little Shop of Horrors parents guide, Chess musical parents guide review, The Muny’s Beauty and the Beast parents guide review, WICKED parents guide musical review.
The Muny’s West Side Story Parents Guide
In The Muny’s West Side Story: One of the greatest and most powerful musicals of our time. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is a love story that has endured the test of time. Tony and Maria find themselves in each other’s arms in a dance of romance, but can they escape the tensions in the streets? The classic Sharks and Jets rivalry leaps onto the Muny stage for the first time in a decade. With the memorable “Maria,” “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty” this is your chance to fall in love with this story all over again!
The Muny’s West Side Story run time: 2 hours and 25 minutes including a short intermission.
The Muny’s West Side Story Age Rating Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know in this parent’s guide and the age rating of the musical before letting their younger children watch The Muny’s West Side Story.
Language: The Muny’s West Side Story contains some strong language, with some profanity used. Lookout words include crap, hoodlum, trash, dumb, and characters referring to females as “broad” and Latinos as “sp*cs.” There is also a phrase uttered that is a pun on the character Officer Krupke’s name, with a character saying, “Krup you.”
Mature Content: The musical contains hand-to-hand combat, stabbings, and the use of knives and guns. Some characters are murdered by gunshots and stabbings, and the dead bodies are shown on stage. There is also a scene where a group of men are shown attacking a girl, and it is presumed they are attempting to rape her. Some characters make sexual innuendos, and there is an implied sex scene that shows characters in bed together afterwards. Characters are shown smoking and making alcohol references.
Age Rating of The Muny’s West Side Story: The musical West Side Story is suggested to have a PG-13 rating for language, violence, and adult situations. It is appropriate material for ages 13 and older. The suggestion of parental guidance or an adult guardian is highly recommended for kids under 13 years old. This rating is based on the opinion of the author.
The Muny’s production of West Side Story boasts an impressive team of professionals who bring this classic tale to life on stage. Under the direction of Rob Ruggiero, the cast delivers a powerful and emotive performance that captures the essence of the story. Kanisha Feliciano shines in her portrayal of Maria, the innocent and star-crossed lover caught in the middle of the gang rivalry. Her voice is mesmerizing, and she effortlessly conveys the range of emotions Maria experiences throughout the show. Alongside Christian Douglas (Tony), who brought chills with his wide-ranged tenor voice, the two exuded chemistry and brought the story to life with their cohesive passion and energy.
Ken Page, a seasoned actor with an impressive resume, takes the stage with a round of applause for his role as Doc, the local drugstore owner. His presence on stage is commanding, and his portrayal of Doc brings depth and warmth to the character. Yurel Echezarreta, known for his versatility, takes on the challenging role of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks gang. Echezarreta is no stranger to the story, as he not only appeared in Broadway’s West Side Story but also had a role in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 portrayal of the classic on the big screen.
One of the most impressive aspects of The Muny’s West Side Story is the stunning choreography and music. Leonard Bernstein’s iconic score is brought to life by a talented orchestra, filling the theater with unforgettable melodies and toe-tapping rhythms. The musical numbers, including the famous “Tonight” and “America,” are performed with passion and precision, showcasing the immense talent of the cast.
Choreographer Parker Esse expertly captures the raw energy and intense emotions of the story through his intricate dance sequences. The combination of classic ballet and intense, athletic movements adds a dynamic element to the performance, further enhancing the dramatic tension between the rival gangs. One standout moment is the iconic “Dance at the Gym” sequence, which is executed with such precision and energy that it is truly mesmerizing to watch. The cast’s chemistry and skill make every movement seem effortless and organic.
If there was one criticism of The Muny’s West Side Story, it would be with the set design. While the Muny is known for its large-scale sets, the set for West Side Story felt a bit lackluster. The simplistic backdrop and limited use of props did not fully transport the audience to the streets of 1950s New York City, which is essential for the immersive experience of this musical.
Overall, despite some shortcomings in the set design and stage direction, The Muny’s West Side Story managed to deliver an entertaining and heartfelt production. The exceptional performances of the cast, coupled with the electrifying choreography, made for an enjoyable evening filled with love, passion, and the perils of gang rivalries. It is definitely a show worth seeing for both musical theater enthusiasts and newcomers to this timeless tale.