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Photo credit: Joan Marcus

It gets me every time. That gun shot goes off and I loose it.

That’s the power of classic like “West Side Story.” Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s 1957 musical remake of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” has stood test of  time and seems to be in the midst of a 10th wind.

The WSS at Ohio Theatre through Sunday is the 2009 revival featuring the hyped modern new look that was all the rave a few years ago. An expanded focus on Jerome Robbins award winning choreography and a much more bilingual book making the show more culturally competent than ever are welcome changes.

Ross Lekites’ smooth deep tone and Evy Ortiz’s operatic overtures make them a match made in WSS heaven as Tony and Maria. And the rest of the stellar young cast dressed in 90s era denim cut-off grunge give a lively finish to the musical.

I only had two small issues with the remake. “America” was cut down to an all female number and the iconic “There’s a Place For Us” was relegated to Kiddo (xx) instead of that historic Tony/Maria duet.

Broadway caliber sets and lighting also helps bring the show into the 20th century. I and my 12-year-old niece were mesmerized. Inter-generational wonder. For a classic, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“West Side Story” runs through Sunday at Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State Street, Columbus. Tickets start at $28. For more information visit


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