A male-dominated dance fight sets the scene at the opening of the classic and tragic love story West Side Story at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre.
This modern day version of the Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet set in 1950s New York quickly establishes the theme of prejudice, misunderstanding and turf war through a spectacular dance scene set against a backdrop of images of Manhattan and recognisable set consisting of run down tenements.
The American Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks are locked in a turf war with the view that ‘a gang who don’t own the street is nothing’ – and they are prepared to ‘rumble’ and pay the ultimate price to prove themselves.
But they are unprepared for Jet Tony (played by understudy Dom Hodson in place of Louis Maskell) and Maria, the sister of Shark leader Bernardo (Javier Cid) unexpectedly falling in love, which will ultimately lead to tragedy.
Djalenga Scott is brilliant in the role of Anita, Bernardo’s girlfriend, stealing the stage during the energetic and colourful number America with her fabulous Latin moves and vocals.
Equally as impressive was Katie Hall (Maria), a true star who was pitch perfect and captured the innocence and naivety of the character.
This stage version of the classic well-loved film is directed by Joey McKneely and is bursting with colourful costumes, a simple yet stunning set, energetic dancing and fabulous music. It runs until Saturday, September 28.