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Justin Peck to Choreograph Spielberg Remake of West Side Story

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Thank you for posting, abatt. My initial reaction was "Why bother?" The original movie was rather quaint even at the time and I do not think a new crew of nimble ballet boys pretending to be gang members will be any more convincing. At the very least, you'd need a new score.

Nor do I think of Spielberg as Mr. Music, particularly the latter-day Spielberg with his heavier hand. Oh, well, I guess we'll see.

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8 hours ago, dirac said:

Thank you for posting, abatt. My initial reaction was "Why bother?" The original movie was rather quaint even at the time and I do not think a new crew of nimble ballet boys pretending to be gang members will be any more convincing. At the very least, you'd need a new score.

Nor do I think of Spielberg as Mr. Music, particularly the latter-day Spielberg with his heavier hand. Oh, well, I guess we'll see.

dirac, you made me laugh. At least this time, I'm sure,  they'll cast a Maria who can do her own singing. I guess, we'll have to see what Tony Kushner does with the book. Peck has become the go-to person for "serious" choreography in musical theater. Personally I didn't think that having Jigger as a dance role in Carousel added anything, and unbalanced some parts of an already very long show. However, Peck is now the chosen one. More power to him. Could be worse.

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I admit that I'm curious. Although I quite like the original West Side Story, it is a bit dated now. And the story (Romeo and Juliet, societal conflicts) is evergreen, so a modern take that appeals to younger audiences seems like a good bet, artistically and financially. Justin Peck seems like a good pick for this job, in my opinion :)

 

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Is the movement dated, or is it the music?  Perhaps a new score for the existing choreography would liven it up.

Personally, I'm appalled at Spielberg's timing.

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11 hours ago, Amy Reusch said:

Is the movement dated, or is it the music?  Perhaps a new score for the existing choreography would liven it up.

Personally, I'm appalled at Spielberg's timing.

I like Robbins' choreography - for the stage. I didn't think it worked on film where we were asked to believe that this was a realistic urban setting. The music...well, it must have been odd enough hearing those echoes of people like Sigmund Romberg in the score at the time, I don't see how you make a movie with it now - again, on the assumption that they're going to try to convince us that these are real gang members in a modern city.

I agree, Amy, the timing is awful.

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However, Peck is now the chosen one. More power to him. Could be worse.

Pretty much sums it up, vipa.

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Ansel  for Tony?  Can't see it. Hope I'm wrong but he seems as miscast as  the guy who played Tony in the original. Neither guy screams gang member.   As for Maria, I hope they find an actual Puerto Rican singer/actress and don't hire yet another tiny English actress which is what Hollywood defaults to when casting everything nowadays. 

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If they're re-doing the book, could they please change the scene where Anita sings "A Boy Like That" and instead of eschewing logic and apologizing with the insipid "I Have a Love," Maria summons her will, looks Anita in the eye, and yells back, "BERNARDO KILLED RIFF, YOU STUPID COW!"?  Okay, maybe not "YOU STUPID COW."  Then they could leave out the insipid "I Have a Love."  They could stare each other down, and then, wordlessly, react in any number of ways, until Spielberg cuts to the next scene.

This will never happen, given that it's Spielberg, who felt it necessary to insert Schindler's big speech into "Schindler's List."

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