The first time you saw West Side Story...
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Author:  Vanessa20 [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  The first time you saw West Side Story...

I was just wondering about this.

So much of the commentary regarding the revival and the use of Spanish seems to be centered around ensuring that the Sharks don't come across as the "bad guys." As if that's often been a problem in previous productions.

I don't get this at all. True, they get less stage time and are less well developed than the Jets, but never, not even when I was ten years old, did I consider them the "bad guys." Granted, I was introduced to the show by a teacher as part of a "Romeo and Juliet" lesson plan, so I just considered them the equivalents of the Capulets, no better or worse than that.

Oh, well. I suppose that when issues like race are involved, it pays to be on the lookout for unfortunate implications. It's so strange that a musical which I could tell from age ten was meant to have an anti-racist message has sometimes been accused of racism.

Author:  random_person [ Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The first time you saw West Side Story...

I certainly didn't. If anything, the implication that the Jets might have raped Anita had their assault continued places them in the less favourable light. That said, neither side are really presented as the 'bad' one - just competing gangs.

Author:  Thejazzy [ Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The first time you saw West Side Story...

I loved it and still do such a great one. when I was studying Performing Arts we had to learn the opening dance sequince between the jets and sharks was brill fun.

Author:  Chenoholic [ Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The first time you saw West Side Story...

The Jets were more the bad guys in my opinion. The Sharks were just trying to fit in a new area and they were being forced out by the Jets and even the authorities.

Author:  mplo [ Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The first time you saw West Side Story...

The first time I saw the film version of West Side Story was around Christmastime of 1968, as a high school Senior at a suburban public high school in the Greater Boston area. (Due, at least in part, to my relative social isolation as a kid, and partly due to the fact that my mom didn't (and still doesn't) consider the film West Side Story a kids' movie, I didn't get to see it until later, after it had already passed the heyday of its freshness and newness, and it was during a big national re-release of the film version of West Side Story, at a now-defunct cinema 45 minutes north of Boston, and of the town where my siblings and I grew up.

I'd fallen in love with the music to WSS during a six-week stint at a day camp out west. Another girl in the group I was with, who'd just received a copy of the LP Album of the original Broadway stage production soundtrack of West Side Story for her birthday, brought the album to camp and played it for the rest of our group. My love for West Side Story took off instantly. i fell in love with the film when I saw it several years later, as a high school Senior, and I fell in love with the movie instantly. Need I say that i've been hooked on this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a Classic film since? hehe!

The more I think about it, while I realize that the Puerto Rican Sharks were the ones who were initially under attack and understandably fought to defend themselves, to survive and to fit in, the more I think that there are not really any bad guys or good guys in West Side Story, because both the Jets and the Sharks ended up doing an equal amount of damage to one another, (witness the killings during the rumble) in the end, if one gets the drift.

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