It’s opening night of Romeo & Juliet in Perth tonight! And with the star-crossed lovers heading west, we were irresistibly reminded of West Side Story, and particularly Jerome Robbins’ explosive choreography for the 1961 film version.
It’s hard to top the opening shots of the Jets prancing and clicking through the streets of New York, but we thought we’d pay tribute to the lesser-known but steamily good Mambo scene. Just as Graeme Murphy has emphasised the universality of the story by setting his Romeo & Juliet in a kaleidescope of different locations, Robbins brings Shakespeare’s passions and tensions into the present by turning the Capulet’s ball into a school dance, the warring families into rival gangs. It’s fiery Puerto Rican sass vs skittery white-boy Swing, with a side of classical bravura.
Want to enjoy Murphy’s version of this classic tale in Perth? Get your tickets quick – the season runs until 14 October.