Trip to Broadway Play: West Side Story

West Side Story            On March 12, 2010 the Honors College students took a trip to Broadway to seeWest Side Story. This classic love story is based off of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and has been on and off Broadway since 1957. It has won the hearts of many, including those in the Honors College who were lucky to have the opportunity to see it.
            About fifteen Honors students boarded the train down to Grand Central Station with Professor Walther. Despite the persistent rain and heavy winds that turned umbrellas inside out, we walked the ten blocks to the theater in high spirits, following Professor Walther’s big umbrella that stood out among the city crowds.
            Once inside, we were directed to our seats, which happened to be very close to the stage! From the second row I was able to watch the love story of Tony and Maria unfold, and I almost felt as if I were in the story myself.
            West Side Story is set in
New York City in the mid 1950s. The musical takes its audience through the rivalry between two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, as they fight over territory and their differences in ethnic background. The Sharks are a group of young, Puerto Rican immigrants, and the Jets are a group of young, working-class whites. Tony, a member of the Jets, falls for Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks. The members of both gangs strongly oppose this budding romance and the characters express their views through powerful ballads and well-choreographed dance routines.

Although it was distracting to be close enough to see the actors spit when they spoke, they did a great job portraying the struggles that come from gang violence as well as the heartache and secrecy that many interracial couples have had to face. The balance between the action and the love story makes this a play that everyone will enjoy.