When A4D founder Grover Dale (original cast member of the 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story) received an invitation from Stephen Spielberg to attend the Los Angeles premiere of the new West Side Story film, he knew he’d go.
Grover and Carol Lawrence (Maria in 1957 Broadway production) attended the premiere together at the El Capitan Theater on December 7th.
Answers4dancers kept a close eye on Grover’s Facebook
page for his reaction… and then we saw this message under a great photo (above).
‘Cozying up with Carol at the premiere. What was the buzz at the ‘after-party’? Oscar calibre, Oscar calibre, Oscar calibre. Personally, my best guesstimate is in the 15+ range.
And Grover’s not alone in his love of the new film. He also shared a review from The New York Times… commenting how they summed up the film in a single paragraph:
‘West Side Story is a dazzling display of filmmaking that also feels raw, unsettled, and alive. Rather than embalming a classic with homage or aggressively reinventing it, Spielberg, Kushner, Peck, and their collaborators (including the cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, the production designer Adam Stockhausen, the editors Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn and the composers Jeanine Tesori and David Newman) have rediscovered its breathing, thrilling essence.’
Grover continued …
‘Any disappointments? Yes. One. To my knowledge, the Academy has yet to establish award recognition for Choreography. Any FBers out there motivated to secure that recognition? If so, Justin Peck’s exceptional work might stimulate you.’
And just like that, Grover enjoyed a great premiere, reunited with friends, and even found a way to get the ball rolling in support of choreographers who have contributed so much to the industry. After all, he learned from the master, Jerome Robbins, what a crucial role choreographers play in any musical production… like the glorious new West Side Story!