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This is a listing for the 2009 season.
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Stratford musicals become a...
Kuchwara reviews both Sondheim productions and adds to the the growing group of critics championing Statford’s W.S.S. over Broadway’s. “Jennifer Rias… makes you almost forget Karen Olivo’s fiery, Tony-winning interpretation of the role, the best thing about the New York revival.
“…in terms of delivering heart, truth and sexual intensity, Griffin’s beautiful, gut-wrenching “West Side” is far, far superior to Arthur Laurents’ current Broadway revival.” The review is part of a feature story.
“Over 55 years, plenty of magic has been conjured on the Festival Theatre stage, but I doubt that the sweat, craft and exuberance I witnessed on the opening night of “West Side Story” last weekend have ever been matched.”
More critical than other reviews, Cushman makes some very pointed comments about the male lead, the direction, the supporting cast, but he raves about the dancing and adores “Chilina Kennedy’s Maria… she beats all other Marias I’ve seen, and most Juliets.”
Nestruck includes the production currently running in New York. “It’s not a competition, of course, but… the gang whose turf is north of the border would win. No matter what weapon is chosen – singing, dancing, acting – Stratford’s production… is unbeatable.”
Coulbourne writes “Chilina Kennedy proves to be a Maria for the ages.” He credits the director Gary Griffin with directing “the kind of production that ensures that by its end, Kennedy will have the entire audience squarely in the palm of her hand.”