I loved Prida’s points about how Tony and Maria, the main characters in ‘West Side Story’, had to “stick to their own kind.” Times really have changed! With only about four generations in America (and two generations born here), my family has gone from 100% Dominican to including whites, Jews and Asians. So much for “sticking to our own kind.”
When the original “West Side Story” film came out, George Chakiris played his character with a dark-brown painted face. I wonder how the Puerto Rican population at the time felt about that. It’s no secret how the African-American community feels about “black face.” The new Broadway production will picture real Latinos on stage, no dark-brown face paint neccessary I hope.
The musical captures a historical moment in time “way before biculturalism was accepted, and it was understood that to be an American you don’t have to reject your own culture.” Remember those good old days? (Not!) It’s nice to see we’ve come a long way, baby.