(Maryjoanna Grisso and Jarrad Biron Green. Photo: Amy Boyle)
The “Tonight Quintet” in West Side Story, the song that ushers in the show’s first act finale, is one of my all-time favorite ensemble numbers. It is second only to “One Day More” from Les Miserables. When I first heard the opening brass vamps of the Quintet song I bounced a little bit in my seat inside the National Theatre. However there was something different about this particular performance of the song. The verses sung by the Sharks were in Spanish, like many other numbers throughout the show that were sung by Puerto Rican characters. Those changes, new to me and perhaps those that haven’t seen the West Side Story apart from previous versions or the iconic 1961 film, were originally incorporated into the 2009 Broadway revival of the show for which the current tour is based off of. The result is a West Side Story that is more modern and offers something different to audiences who think they know the Bernstein and Sondheim masterpiece.