Saturday, April 24, 2010
I laughed, told him I understood, then asked him to rent "West Side Story." I explained that if a musical was done right, the story takes the characters to such an emotional climax, words are no longer adequate to express what they're feeling. They must sing or dance. I don't think this is displayed any better than in West Side Story.
I've chosen this clip today from a number from WSS called "Cool." The two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, have just "rumbled," with the result being the deaths of both gangs' leaders, Bernardo and Riff. This clearly was not the outcome both sides expected, and they all run away when the police sirens start blaring. They find refuge in this parking garage. They're scared, shocked over the death of their leader, incredibly frustrated, and very, very mad. The new leader, Iceman, tries to calm everyone down with this song.
It's really long, but I hope you'll skip around in this number and enjoy the artistry of it. I think my favorite part may be at the very end, around 4:30, when they all stand completely still for a few full seconds, and Iceman simply says, "Okay. Let's go."
See what you think...
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