Monday, January 23, 2006

West Side Success Story

I went to see the Bakersfield Music Theater’s production of West Side Story yesterday. Paul and I like going to plays and I am particularly fond of musicals, but I have to say West Side Story has never been one of my favorites. I just don’t care for the songs, except for “I feel pretty” of course. But, my nephew had a pretty big part in the play, so the whole family got together and off we went to the theater.

I’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff about this play, and I have to say, I was impressed. The director chose to dress the characters in a more modern day gangster style rather than the classier look of gangsters forty years ago. The Jets were dressed like punkers and the Sharks were dressed in Latino gang style. Most of the guys had elaborate tattoos I heard were drawn on by an actual tattoo artist before each performance. They didn’t shy away from dressing the girls all trampy either. If those skirts got any shorter they would have been belts.

The choreography was great and I was really impressed the dancing. Most impressive of all were the lead actors who played Tony and Maria. Man – those kids got some lungs on ‘em. The effects were great too. When Tony stabbed Bernardo fake blood went squirting across the stage causing more than a couple of people to gasp, “Eww!” That was nothing compared to the gun shot at the end of the play. The sound was so loud and sounded so real, I nearly dropped a load right there in my pants. I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of the older patrons had heart attacks. I’m not kidding. If you go, wear Depends.

After the play a representative from Garden Pathways came out with Supervisor Michael Rubio (who, by the way, is totally hot) and they talked about the gang problem in Kern County and encouraged each of us to do our part to help. They passed out forms so people could volunteer for a mentoring program and brochures explaining more about their program. Everything was very well done I was extremely impressed.

Here’s hoping this will be the beginning of a kinder, gentler, gang free community.