What “Hamilton” is to 2015, “West Side Story” was to 1957, a musical that was as much a part of its historical moment as a tabloid headline. So it was a near-miraculous coincidence that I happened to see a Florida revival of Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway opera about a Manhattan gang war the night after “Hamilton” opened in New York. The two shows have much in common—among other things, they’re both parables of the problem of assimilation—and Riverside Theatre’s well-sung and unusually well-danced production of “West Side Story,” directed by DJ Salisbury, is a solid, meritorious piece of work.
Riverside Theatre bills itself as “America’s largest small town professional theater.” If you’re wondering why a town of 15,220 should be home to a 675-seat musical-comedy theater, the answer is that Vero Beach is an affluent coastal community whose well-heeled residents want to see shows like the o...
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