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Terry Hunter reviews Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY

Updated: Dec. 19, 2021 at 11:28 AM HST
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The musical, WEST SIDE STORY, has been popular since its first production on a Broadway stage in 1957. Now, 60 years after WEST SIDE STORY was turned into a movie, filmmaker Steven Spielberg has made a new version that’s showing only in theaters. And there’s a lot to like about Spielberg’s re-imagining of this classic musical. The flashy cinematography, fresh choreography and superb dancing are exciting. The inspired music by Leonard Bernstein and crowd pleasing lyrics by Steven Sondheim are as appealing as ever. And the actors are very good. But the fairy tale-like story line didn’t stir my emotions very often. What moved me most was 90 year old Rita Morino, who played Maria’s friend Anita in the original film. Here she’s a wise old Puerto Rican woman who tries to mediate between the Caucasian and the Puerto Rican gangs. Spielberg has her sing “Somewhere,” which has been performed by Tony and Maria in all previous versions of West Side Story. If you liked the original film, you’re bound to enjoy this one. (Only in Theaters)