It's difficult, when the curtain rises, to believe in this gang of blondies in ties, supposedly at war with Puerto Ricans, over issues of neighborhood and territory. Until the girls arrive and their superb song America. From this moment on, the show takes on its substance, even if the orchestra is too amplified, and if the singers' voices are distorted by the frenzy that the sound engineers put into boosting them with echo.
The West Side Story installed for the holidays at the Châtelet is the revival of a show given in Munich in December 2022. It is a big production, as the Germans know how to do. Everything is precise, sometimes to the point of becoming mechanical. To some extent, we find the original version created on Broadway in 1957. The work, punctuated by its unchanging titles much more difficult to sing than it seems, from Tonight to Somewhere, requires the interpretation of good singers .
The choreography does not tolerate any more amateurism. The producers chose that of Jerome Robbins. It is unfortunately poorly reproduced, particularly in the round of the ball scene, where the desired effect is missed. The second part of this 20th century Romeo and Juliet is fortunately more intense and more poignant, thanks to Mélanie Sierra in the role of Maria.
In addition to her lyrical talents, this artist is also an authentic actress who succeeds in moving the audience. By rediscovering this great classic of the musical comedy, which recounts this story of a bloody fight over a piece of sidewalk, we cannot help but think, all things considered, of what is happening to the east of the Mediterranean at this time. moment. Human madness is still at work.
Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris 1st, to discover until December 31.