My comments are based on the opening night of West Side Story last September 5, 2008.
I was able to watch STAGES Production of West Side Story with Christian Bautista as Tony and Joanna Ampil as Maria last September 5, 2008 at the Meralco Theater. I was eager to watch the opening because I’ve heard that Joanna Ampil will play the part of Maria (she is alternating with Karylle as Maria). Thank you to Oliver Oliveros of STAGES and Minnie Fong for I was able to get a ticket for the opening night.
I think I’m the only one who watched the play alone. Nevertheless, I got a very nice seat! I sat on the first row and I can even count Joanna’s skin pores (just kidding!).
I can’t say anything negative about Joanna Ampil. She got a very pristine voice and she sang effortlessly. For a few moments, I thought I was in UK. I’ve been meaning to see her live since I was 12 (the time when I heard about Jesus Chris Superstar). I was impressed and stunned by her performance. I believe Christian Bautista did a great job in playing the part of Tony. He isn’t just a good singer but also a good actor. He can really do stage plays! I must commend the lady who played Anita’s part that night. She was very funny and she dances very well!
The sets are fine and I liked it every time the set moves! It is quite similar to those that I’ve seen in Broadway shows like Legally Blonde Musical where the sets move on its own in between scenes.
I believe the one thing that ruined that night’s show is the sound system. The sound system is quite distracting during the whole show. There is this annoying static sound that kept on buzzing. I believe there was a time when an explosive sound came out from the speakers that really pissed me off. Well, it’s the opening night.
Although the sound system was quite distracting, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the show. The FilharmoniKA orchestra (conducted by Gerard Salonga) was also great during that night.
The dance numbers were ballet-ish. I hope you know what I mean. Nevertheless, the dance numbers were good.
There were a lot of boring parts throughout the show. I actually don’t like long exchanges of dialogues.
I loved the song numbers Tonight and Somewhere.
Despite the minor flaws during the opening night, I believe the show is really worth watching. I’m looking forward on seeing Karylle play the part of Maria.
Congratulations to the cast, the orchestra, producers, directors, staff, crew, and everyone else behind the show for pulling off a good show.
“West Side Story” runs at Meralco Theater on Sept. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, Oct. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12, 2008. For tickets, call Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 or STAGES at (632) 818-1111 loc. 225. Ticketworld is online at www.ticketworld.com.ph. Ticket prices range from PhP 500 to 1,200.