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Ivo van Hove & Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Take On West Side Story for Broadway

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

I'm well aware that Puerto Ricans are US  citizens.  The point is that in Puerto Rico, they are not entitled to free ' things' that are available on the mainland,. Further this incarnation of the musical is referencing immigrants in a broad way.

That's what is wrong in Van Hove's production,  in my opinion.  He's conflating immigrants with American citizens,  the Mexican border with the island of Puerto Rico,  and most egregiously,  black and white gang members.  You and I know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens,  but I'd be willing to bet that Van Hove didn't when he came up with his conception.  Immigration issues are in the news so he shoe-horned them into WSS,  where they aren't an issue at all on the Latino side and only tangentially on the white side.  WSS is a quintessentially a New York musical,  and in New York anti-immigrant sentiments are rare.  Updating WSS would be hard for a native New Yorker to do,  so it's no wonder that a European would get things wrong.

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Not to make too much of it (I'm not sure how important it is), but there are a lot of "tells" that the production is not by New Yorkers. One of the oddest is that the videos show streets that are not even in Manhattan. There's one long tracking shot in the Bronx. Any New Yorker immediately senses it's not the Upper West Side already, not today, not in 1957, but then as the camera creeps along you see prominent signage--more than once!--showing it to be Gerard Avenue in the Bronx. The lettering could easily have been changed on the film, and one wonders why they didn't do so.

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