Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story is slated to be released on Disney+ on March 2nd, 2022. This theatrical spectacle was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Ariana DeBose was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her take on the character of Anita.
Released in 2021, West Side Story features a cast led by Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria. Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Mike Faist as Riff, Rita Moreno as Valentina, and Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke round out the cast of this musical hit.
West Side Story is the reimagining of a Romeo and Juliet type story where the main characters fall madly in love with each other despite their very different backgrounds. Like Romeo and Juliet, the differing backgrounds make for a difficult time being with one another. In West Side Story, Tony and Maria come from different ethnic backgrounds that are currently at odds with each other over control of the area of town they live in.
West Side Story includes beautifully directed and choreographed dance sequences that showcase the talent of its cast. My personal favorite was “America” headed by Anita which depicts her longing to stay and live in America for all that it has to offer as opposed to her home of Puerto Rico. Ariana DeBose captivated the audience with her singing and dancing chops that were amazingly showcased by Spielberg. Her performance not only in “America” but the rest of the film is truly a stand out performance. She is strong, brilliant, and powerful as Anita.
West Side Story is a must see for any lover of musical theater. However, even for those not in love with musical numbers, it includes something for everyone – love, fighting, rivalry, and an inside look at racial, ethnic and class divides.
Have you seen West Side Story? What do you think? Are you excited to see it again on Disney+?
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