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Arts | Culture

TL;DR theater review: ‘West Side Story’

The Jets from Moonlight Theatre’s “West Side Story”
Don’t mess with these Jets from Moonlight’s production of “West Side Story”
(Adriana Zuniga)

A short take on this classic musical playing at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheatre through Aug. 31

You’ll be hearing a lot about “West Side Story” this year.

There’s a Steven Spielberg remake in the works, and an updated version is headed to Broadway. So if you want to know what the fuss is all about, definitely catch Moonlight Amphitheatre’s lively production. It captures the enthusiasm, the tragedy and the politics of why this has been a beloved show since 1957.

If you didn’t already know, “West Side Story” is based on “Romeo and Juliet,” but instead of Capulets v. Montagues, it’s the white Jets gang versus the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their fights are mostly territorial until the Jets’ Tony falls in love with the Sharks’ Maria.

Star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria from Moonlight’s production of “West Side Story”
Star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria from Moonlight’s production of “West Side Story”
(Ken Jacques)
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That’s when the show tackles important issues like class, racism and what it actually means to be an American. Like the Shakespeare tragedy, this musical filled with death and sadness. But in between, there are fantastic dance numbers, particularly by the male ensemble. And chances are you’ll be singing those classic songs, “America” and “I Feel Pretty,” long after the curtain closes.

Have time to read the U-T’s full review? Find it here.

8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Aug. 31. Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $17 to $57; www.moonlightstage.com


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