Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Unless you flew to New York in 2009 for the play's Broadway revival, you've likely never seen professionals sing "Tonight" or dance the mambo. And you have no idea what you're missing.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Plenty of us have seen a high school production of "West Side Story." It's such a brilliant, lively musical no matter who's performing it. But unless you flew to New York in 2009 for the play's Broadway revival, you've likely never seen professionals sing "Tonight" or dance the mambo. And you have no idea what you're missing. I went to see the touring show's opening night performance in Columbus, and here's a look at what you can expect to be different from the high school plays of your theatergoing past.

At a high school school production: Those three lead actors can sing pretty well.
At the Ohio Theatre production: Each person on stage could probably beat out all of the current "American Idol" contenders.

High school: Tony seems like he's nervous his homecoming date in the audience will become jealous of Maria. He tries to touch the actress as little as possible. Chemistry between the supposedly star-crossed lovers? Yeah right.
Professional: Ross Lekites - who has previously starred in several other national tours - sells the fact that Tony would do anything for his true love, Maria. It's hard to imagine anyone sacrificing himself for a girl he just met (silly romantic Shakespeare), but Lekites makes it less so.

High school: Whoa, look! There's a balcony on stage.
Professional: Sure, there's a fine-looking balcony, but there's also a giant bridge that suddenly appears, making the dance-filled fight scene a little more realistic. Also, a chain-link fence at the front of the stage during that scene gives the dancers a chance to do some great climb-and-jump moves.

High school: You wouldn't be too torn up about it if you got mono and had to miss the dance -- complete with "Mambo" -- in the first act. The actual dancing is no big deal.
Professional: Now that's a party! Whew, those Jets and Sharks can dance!

High school: Percussionist in the pit sort of fakes the famous vibraphone solo in the "Cool" dance sequence.
Professional: That vibes player can swing!

High school: It would be inappropriate for there to be any sex appeal.
Professional: There are boob grabs, butt grabs and masturbation jokes. Not to mention every person on stage is very, very attractive, and both genders wear costumes that show off their dancer bodies. This ain't your sister's high school play.

See it:

Ohio Theatre

Through April 22

39 E. State St., Downtown

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