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Theatre Review Anniversary Performances of Les Miserables & West Side Story
Author: Jeaux, 7/25/2017 Attendees: Jeaux, Michelle, Marleigh & Kamry Venue: Mitch Park & Civic Center
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Michelle and I were of the same mindset when it came to our 19th anniversary, each selecting a Broadway show for each other. Michelle selected West Side Story performed by Lyric Theatre at the Civic Center, while I selected Les Miserables performed by Upstage Theatre at Mitch Park. We decided to take Marleigh and our good friend Kamry to see Les Mis and we were all pleased with their casting of Jean Valjean and Cosette. The sets were pretty minimal, but they integrated strobe lighting to enhance the battle scene and performed the Finale from behind the audience to create a full scene. We love so many of the songs, but a few that stood out in this show were "A Heart Full of Love" and "Bring Him Home". Great supporting cast in the ensemble made many off the bigger numbers stand out with simple, but creative choreography.

West Side Story was a few days later and we saw this one from the Upper Orchestra as just a couple. The stage was beautiful with the orchestra elevated onto the second floor of the urban streetscape, illuminated from behind during certain numbers to create a nice effect on the action below. Tony was the star of the show, performing beautifully on "Tonight" along with a much shorter Maria, lifting her in the air above him, like she was only a child. The dancing was a little stale in my opinion, but the singing made up for it especailly on America and I feel Pretty. My favorite number of the night had to be "Gee, Officer Krupke" which was acted out fantastically by all the Jets, but Action's animation won the crowd many times over.
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