15 August 2019, The Tablet

Only halfway there

Only halfway there

Sophia Burgos: ‘An enchanting, wide-eyed Maria’
Photo: Kate Lemmon


West Side Story
Usher Hall, Edinburgh

“There’s a place for us,” sing Bernstein’s young lovers Maria and Tony, tragically separated by society and circumstance. But is that place the concert hall? That was the question that niggled in a full-to-bursting Usher Hall during the first of two performances of West Side Story (5 August), part of the Edinburgh International Festival.
West Side Story is a million-dollar industry – a Tony Award-winning phenomenon that reinvented the Broadway musical, spawned an Academy Award-winning film, and will soon return to screens as Steven Spielberg’s latest project. The show’s rights holders are fiercely protective of their treasure and until recently no non-staged performances of the work have been permitted. But a brand new, authorised concert version has now changed all of that, so you can expect to hear mambos and cha-chas pulsing from every orchestra across the country.

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