September 1, 2015
Deborah Hirsch, The Pitch
I confess I’m biased: I’ve always loved West Side Story. Fortunately for me — and for anyone else who cherishes the 1957 musical — Spinning Tree directors Andy Parkhurst and Michael Grayman do, too.
They met while appearing in a European tour of West Side Story in 1998. Grayman had worked under original choreographer and director Jerome Robbins (who won a Tony for this work) and Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book. They have both performed Robbins’ steps, and now they’ve largely re-created them in Spinning Tree’s fresh, vibrant and timely revival. I had worried that, almost six decades on, a show about ’50s-era gangs would feel dated. But any concern was unfounded. I laughed. I cried. I struggled not to sing along…