Sep. 27th, 2011

petzipellepingo: (wss jets by lindz8403)
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'West Side Story' goes 'South Park' at ASU
Musical takes new direction while staying true to roots

by Kerry Lengel
The Arizona Republic

"The Book of Mormon" isn't the only big Broadway musical with a "South Park" sensibility. In fact, the scandalous cartoon's influence shows up where you'd least expect it: in a 50-year-old classic, "West Side Story."

The number in question is "Gee, Officer Krupke," in which the street toughs from the Jets, buzzing with adrenaline after the death of gang leader Riff, ridicule the psychologists, sociologists and law-and-order types out to solve America's juvenile-delinquency problem.

It was a scene that the late Arthur Laurents -- who wrote the book to the musical as part of a dream team with composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and choreographer Jerome Robbins -- struggled with when he directed the 2009 Broadway revival.
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So I debated for awhile whether this figure was Schrank or Krupke (it's a licensed NYPD action figure. Uniform replica! Handcuffs! Guns!), but in the end, it was the uniform that convinced me this is Krupke. I might put him in a suit and call him Schrank later, though. Anyway, I expect to have lots of fun reenacting the playground brawl/dance with him!


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