9:53: “Puerto Rico is in America now.” — and now we get to social commentary that’s surprisingly deep and complex for what it is. I’d say more, but I’d rather watch Rita dance. “You forget I’m in America” — it’s just absolutely killer. It’s possible that Rita Moreno as Anita is the greatest woman who ever existed. “America” is less on stortelling track than some other numbers in the show, but it’s one of my absolute favorite numbers in any musical ever. Maybe it’s just because I’m Puerto Rican. Probably not.
10:04: I always forget this, but I sang “Tonight” onstage in high school. I wasn’t playing Tony exactly — the number was a part of a revue, so we sang it out of context. I sang it to an Ecuadorian girl, if I remember correctly, which brings up an interesting thought for me — you could do a production of this show today with Puerto Ricans as the Sharks and some other Central/South American immigrant group (Mexican? Guatemalan? Dare I say…Dominican?) and end up with all kinds of wild statements about ethnicity and culture. And you know what? Aside from a couple of lines, it would work.
10:11: All I want to type for most of this is “ooh, and then here comes this part that I love.” Oooh, here comes “Officer Krupke” — I love this part. It’s such a silly song, and it’s staged/choreographed so ridiculously (and theatrically, I’ve gotta add) that you forget that it’s actually a legitimate and intelligent parody of the legal/social system that has risen up to deal with “juvenile deliquency” — and it’s all a social critique of how you end up with two dead city kids over a “forbidden” relationship.
10:16: Oh yeah–no commericials. It’s PBS. Oops.
10:21: The real racism comes from the cops. The Jets aren’t racist. I think that’s part of what I love here.
10:34: I’m pausing here and there between numbers to try to get some work done, so the time stamps are kind of irrelevant. “I Feel Pretty” makes me a little more frustrated about the casting for the upcoming Broadway version — I’d love to hear this sung by a real Nuyorican kind of Maria. Don’t get me wrong, Natalie Wood is kind of great (I’ve come around to appreciate her in this part), and Marni Nixon’s voice is fine, but you end up with this weird idealized almost sparkless Maria — there’s no reason she can’t be a little more Anita.
10:57: Oops, I forgot I was writing this. I’m enthralled. I’m not writing anymore. Watch it your damn self.