TALLINN - Estonia seems to really be getting into its musicals as of late. As if "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Grease" weren't enough, there's now a major new production of "West Side Story" on the way.
The classic Broadway hit, which was also made into a highly successful film, is a rough adaptation of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." The Jets are a white trash New York gang, and the Sharks are their Puerto Rican rivals. The Puerto Rican Maria falls madly in love with Tony from the Jets, and much musical bombast follows. Of course, it all ends in tragedy, but there are some truly great songs along the way. Shaky would no doubt have approved.
The musical is being put on by students from the Georg Ots Music School, which has established quite a tradition of staging musicals. It was behind last year's production of "My Fair Lady," which featured the talented Liisi Koikson, who later starred in "Grease." But in accordance with copyright law, the number of public performances of well-known musicals is limited, so the Georg Ots Music School contents itself with making one new production every year
Many call "West Side Story" one of the finest musicals ever made, both in its stage and screen version, so it will certainly be fascinating to see it performed in Estonian. Just how on earth will they translate wonderful lyrics such as: "Our mothers all are junkies, our fathers all are drunks, Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks." Expect a full house, and plenty of wet eyes on the night.
"West Side Story" musical (in Estonian), performed by
the students of the Georg Ots
Directed by Ivo Eensalu.
Salme Cultural Center, 12 Salme St., Tallinn.
September 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 at 6 p.m.; Sept 5, 12 at Midday. Tickets 50 kroons(3 euros) to 90 kroons.