Although the different take on "Somewhere" (which is one of my favorite songs) kind of surprised me and I'm not sure I like it, I do think that the Maria is wonderful and the Tony is incredible (his "Maria" is fantastic, I love the way he hits the last notes). All in all, it's pretty good for a revival.
WAY TO GOO!
I havent stopped listening to this version of the songs. I have been casted as Anita in my school's vs of West side. Karen Olivo is incredible, as is the rest of the cast! Everybody is wonderful, and I hope to someday see them all off or on Broadway! True Broadway classic, and Jlo's fav movie! Thank you!
A new version, A new opinion
Karen Olivo sold this album for me. She is phenomenal and well worth the money by herself. I cannot overstate how much I loved her.
Now for the rest of the album. I will start by saying I am not a huge fan of West Side Story and for me the previous casts did not really hold my interest. The revamped sound is a huge improvement for me. Josefina Scaglione did a great job and while the rest of the cast wasn't quite up to the level of Olivo and Scaglione they were respectable in their performances. The Spanish was a fun addition making it, easily, my favorite version of this musical.
I personally would just pick the tracks with afore mentioned ladies instead of buying the whole album if I were doing it again, but that is me.
West Side Story
By Rocker Rosie
Ok I just saw this today and I am in love with this musical, the movie was good but seeing it was amazing! The songs are beautifully written and sung so 5 stars to the cast!
Saw it on broadway
I saw it on Broadway two years ago and it was AH-FREAKING-MAZING!!!! :D
West side revival
I'll have to say that I like the new bilingual version. One sees the bigger differences in cultures which makes for a better and more interesting conflict on stage.
The new "Maria" sung by Matt Cavenaugh is the best interpretation of that song I've ever heard.
This second look at this show refreshes the youthful years of Stephen Sondheim's work and can see his early lyrical genius.
Five stars from me. :)
I saw this show a couple days ago at the Pantages Theatre in LA. I have to say that I didn't care much for the Spanish versions of the songs and my family and I agreed that even if you knew the songs from the original, it kind of took away from the original feeling. Although, the new version of "America" with Karen Olivo was quite fabulous.
I still believe that you should know the originals first, and then move to the revival CDs.
A pretty good revival, I must say.
Lots of squandered potential
I love West Side Story, but this recording isn't really that great. Sure, Karen Olivo is SPECTACULAR (better even than Rita Moreno), and Josefina Scaglione is okay (but flat), but the rest is pretty bad. The Spanish translations were needless; it kind of ruins the Tonight Quintet when everyone is singing together and I can't understand A Boy Like That or I Feel Pretty. Matt Cavanaugh COULD have a voice on him if he lost a bit of his excessive and horribly nasally vibrato. The orchestrations sound hokey and not very rich. Try the movie and original Broadway.
Why is it Spanish?!?!?!
I love everyone's voices. The only problem with vocals I have is that Matt uses too much vibrato. Other than that it's stupendous. And why would they even think about making some of the songs Spanish?!?!?! That is so unnecessary!!!
Reviewing the album, not the show
By Ryan Madanick
As the title says, I will not discuss the production, since I have not seen this version. My bias up front: West Side Story is my favorite older musical, and I have loved the music and lyrics for 25 years. That being said I used to own the record (yes, the record) of one of the older versions, so this review is just about the current album of the New Broadway Cast.
The orchestrations are excellent and very faithful to the original score. The horns were incredible, and this played a huge reason that the music remains phenomenal. The ladies have wonderfully expressive voices. I enjoyed hearing some of the new Spanish lyrics. I was however disappointed that they translated "A Boy Like That". The English lyrics are so powerful and moving, that if you cannot understand the Spanish you will lose some of the emotion. Fortunately the English version is included after the Finale, and is very strong. I particularly liked one of the translation changes in "I Feel Pretty", from "It must be the heat, or some rare disease" to "Sera el calor o indigestion" ("It is the heat or indigestion")...as a gastroenterologist I got a kick out of this!
Now for the negatives. As others have stated, Cavenaugh (Tony) is the weak link vocally, primarily for his nasal vocalizations in some of the key songs, notably in "Something's Coming" and "Tonight". The operatic voice of Scaglione (Maria) in "Tonight" is so beautiful that it is a shame that his was not as well. "Maria" on the other hand is beautiful and for some reason much less nasal.
In several faster songs, I found myself begging the tempo to speed up just a little bit. It seemed that some of the tempos were purposely kept slightly slower to allow more articulation of the music and vocals. But with the more energetic tunes there needed to be a little bit of fire behind the conductor that just wasn't there.
Finally, I was so looking forward to an amazing new rendition of Krupke. But it was just bland. The interpretation of the dialogue in between the lines of singing was boring (e.g., "head shrinker" and "social worker"). The instrumentation keeps this song going, but the performers seemed to have really no sense of the inuendo in the lyrics and dialogue, maybe reflecting a difference in era, since the show is 50+ years old and the concept of "juvenile deliquency" is much different now.
To sum up, I was pleased with my purchase. It is not the best album per se that I have, but if you love the show you will probably feel the same way. So glad to hear the new production, great female vocals, but some downsides that could have been tweaked in recording.