Sounds of West Side Story will be heard in various Parisian venues this December. The classic Bernstein-Sondheim-Laurents-Robbins musical has been brought to the Palais des Sports of Paris by German producer Wolfgang Bocksch, making it the third Bocksch production to hit Paris this year (after Fame and California Dream Men ). West Side Story is performed in English (with French subtitles) by a company of American artists. The cast of 35 is led by Max Von Essen as Tony, Natasha Harper as Maria (although understudies Kelly Burnett and Sharen Camille filled in for the Dec. 9 press night), Shane Kirkpatrick (Riff), Tony Lord (Bernardo) and Marcia Francisco (Anita). Alan Johnson has recreated the original Jerome Robbins staging and choreography. West Side Story is running in Paris until Jan. 3.
Songs from West Side Story will also be heard at the Salle Pleyel, a landmark theatre in the classical music world. On Dec. 15, the Orchestre Colonne, conducted by Didier Benetti will give a concert dedicated to movie scores and Broadway showtunes. The evening will feature soprano Marie Zamora and barytone Gilles Ramade who will perform songs from Broadway classics, such as West Side Story or My Fair Lady, but also hits from more recent musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables. Zamora has been seen recently as Cosette in the Les Miserables sequence in the star-studded Cameron Mackintoch benefit Hey, Mr. Producer! . She has created the role of Cosette in the Mackintosh Paris production of the Boublil and Schonberg's epic. Other roles include Mrs Barnum (Barnum ) and Kate (Kiss Me, Kate ).
For tickets and information on West Side Story at the Palais des Sports, call 011-331-44-68-69-70. The show runs until Jan. 3.
For tickets and information on the Orchestre Colonne at the Salle Pleyel, call 011-331-45-61-53-00. Dec. 15 only.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong