EMAV Review: 'West Side Story' sizzles at Signature Productions ★★★★

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Photos by Stan Judd.

★★★★☆ - Delicious

The talented and dedicated Board, performers, designers and technicians with Signature Productions continue their reputation for superior production quality and family entertainment in their delicious, 4-Star presentation of “West Side Story”, which continues through November 16th at Summerlin Library & Performing Arts Center.

Inspired by the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet, “West Side Story” takes Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers and places them in the vibrant battleground of New York City’s West Side in the 1950s. Young lovers are caught between prejudice and warring street gangs in one of the most important and powerful musicals of all time. As two gangs battle for control of the turf, the situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival's sister – and they discover that ancient grudges are no match for true love.

The deep-seated rivalry between the Puerto Rican gang (the Sharks) and the white gang (the Jets) includes “rumbles”, romance, and resentment which lead to the lovers’ ultimate, tragic conclusion. With soaring, sophisticated, and diverse melodies, energetic and athletic dance battles, and its remarkably relevant social message, “West Side Story” remains one of American musical theatre’s most revolutionary and most loved treasures.

The manner of telling the story has always been a provocative and artful blend of music, dance and plot. By keeping faithful to the Broadway original, this production wins the audience over from the opening prologue, danced by the Jets and the Sharks. It reminds us of the extraordinary fusion of music, movement and story that makes this a great musical.