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Who should have died? 
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Broadway Legend
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Post Who should have died?
As we all know (or should!), Tony is shot by Chino at the end of the show and Maria breaks the cycle of violence. But would the show be more effective if Maria was the one shot and Tony chooses to break the violence?

I think it definately could work, especially since in the Act 1 Finale, Tony choses to release his emotions over Riff's death by killing and since Tony is practially leader of the Jets, the Sharks might respect him more than Bernardo's sister going crazy with a gun after she ran off with a Jet boy.

Any thoughts? Comments? Agree or disagree?

Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:07 pm
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I think the procession at the end works better with Tony than Maria though, because the carrying of Tony is a clear kind of gang-resolution behaviour, but carrying Maria might be a little more ambiguous (temporarily ignoring differences because the tragedy of a relatively innocent by-stander dying from their actions, but not necessarily a long-lasting resolution).

If that makes sense :-/.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:15 pm
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They toyed with the idea, I think. One of the endings considered was that Maria would be lead to think Tony was dead and kill herself, and Tony would be left alive in the end.

Maybe it could work, but I like the ending as it exists. For two reasons:

1) It probably has a stronger emotional impact to see sweet little Maria suddenly "go crazy with a gun" than it would have with Tony, whom we've already seen kill someone.

2) This could be just my view, sorry if it sounds ridiculous, but I have Asperger's. You have to be very careful when writing a tragic mixed-race romance (or gay romance, or anything kind of romance that is or has been considered taboo), or instead of a tragedy, the ending might feel like a concession to society that the lover's can't end up together. We don't want a complaint like the one some people have about Angel's death in RENT: that even though we sympathize with him, it feels like he "has" to die because his kind "don't belong." I've always admired WSS for never coming across that way: to me the ending has always created a feeling of "It shouldn't have ended this way and we need to make sure this never happens again." If Maria had died instead of Tony, there might be an unfortunate implication that she needed to be "punished" for not sticking to her own kind. I think having her live was a wise choice overall.

Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:34 am
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