West Side Story is the only Broadway musical I enjoy. Why is that?
July 19, 2014 6:06 PM Subscribe
The only Broadway musical I can actually, whole-heartedly enjoy is West Side Story. Am I the only one of my breed on this? Why might this be?
posted by JimInLoganSquare to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I hope someone with a more sophisticated take on this can shed some light here. And, yes, I am of course at least theoretically open to all of you Broadway musical lovers who want to turn me around and show me what a fool I am and how my taste sucks, but please make that a secondary topic to supplement your thoughtful response to my basic query: Why is West Side Story the only Broadway musical I actually enjoy?
It is not from lack of exposure; as a kid I saw Yule Brenner in The King and I, Dick Van Dyke in Damn Yankees, numerous Broadway-touring level of production presentations of Lloyd-Webber musicals, and none of those have ever clicked. I even worked stage crew on a production of South Pacific, and that did nothing for me, either.
I think my situation probably relates to Bernstein being the composer in West Side Story, because he's just coming at this from a different perspective (one in which I strongly identify -- classical and jazz), but then that doesn't explain my "meh" attitude toward other Bernstein things like Candide. My working theory, for anyone here to support or refute, is that Bernstein had one great musical in him, that it is essentially unlike all other musicals in some way, and that way in which it is different is what I happen to like about it, namely that the music was composed to be listened to in a concert setting and not just as accompaniment to a stage presentation.