Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Story from the West Side

Today I was listening to a podcast...I know, I know, anyone who has talked to me has heard that too many times...but this one was about West Side Story. They were talking about it on Studio 360 because it is making its big Broadway comeback and this time some of the Puerto Rican dialogue and songs have been translated into Spanish to make it more authentic. I only got to hear a couple snippets but it sounded pretty awesome.
I must be a little bit emotional these days because I heard a measure or two of "Tonight" and my eyes got all teary. I'm not usually one who gets choked up in movies, but there is something about that one that really gets me. The innocent love in the midst of gangs, it's pure poetry.
They had a clip from one of the producers and he said that when it was written in the 50s it was very risque. The big line that got them in trouble was when they said, "Gee, Officer Krupke, krup you."
The world of media has certainly changed since then.
For that matter, it has changed even more if you consider that the original star-crossed lovers were Romeo and Juliet. From iambic pentameter to Broadway was quite a jump, but Tony and Maria were able to do it, and do it well.

That movie makes me think of my flute teacher. I had started taking lessons when I was in 5th grade so Mrs. Ford was a weekly installment throughout my entire adolescence. She was one of those mentors that they always make movies about, you know the ones that teach life lessons along with scales. By the time I was a senior in high school, my practice time had dwindled quite a bit, but I couldn't give up the time that I spent with her. When I would get there unprepared she would help me work on songs. At one particular lesson I pulled out an old book of showtunes and, hoping for something easy, flipped to "Tonight" and started to sight read. The notes and rythms were simple but she kept stopping me. "You aren't playing with any feeling." I was stopped three times and was getting frustrated. When I told her that I hadn't ever seen the show she stopped right then and there to go dig out her copy to lend to me. She said, "I'm sure after you watch this you will get the feeling that you need."
So, I took it home and watched it, and now I can't even hear a bar without turning on the water works. If there weren't 13 hours between me and Mrs. Ford I'd still be making my weekly visits.
If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it, but don't get it at the library in Eugene because I want to check it out. If you see it and you don't like it then all I have to say is
Krup you.

1 comment:

Aynna banahna said...

I guess that krup may be directed at me, considering I've never liked that movie. But my dad loves it! No wonder he likes you so much