West Side Story, Sydney Opera House | Review

Thursday, 22 August 2019

West Side Story 
Sydney Opera House 
Reviewed on Tuesday 20th August 2019 by Jamie & Emily 

West Side Story- an explosion of colour and culture clashes and immerses all your senses as one of the most iconic musicals takes over the iconic Sydney Opera House. This heart wrenching tale of lovers from two sides is a rollercoaster journey, taking its audience through every emotion. 

Director Joey McKneely has created an enthralling show. A set (Paul Gallis) you would think impossible with three moveable tiers, takes you around New York and you are truly immersed and transported.The choreography (Joey McKneely) is on point as it whisks and whirls around the stage; complimented by the fabulous costumes, and fantastically virtuosic playing from the Opera Australia Orchestra, a winning combination is created. Plus, what more could you ask for when listening to Bernstein's glorious score, than the brilliant acoustics of the Sydney Opera House?!

Maria and Tony take you on an emotional journey as the Romeo and Juliet story is transported to New York. The suspense of the rumble between the Jets and the Sharks keeps you on the edge of your seat with the first act leaving the audience in a state of shock, yet wanting more. The scene is set for the darker second act. 

Tony (Daniel Assetta) is a particular stand out, his powerful tenor voice blows the audience away with each, perfectly controlled note and emotion portrayed. Just when you think the performance can’t get any better the duets between Tony and Maria (Sophie Salvesani) and the harmony they achieve blows you away. Their talent is like no other as the complement each other and soar together faultlessly.

All round, this production of West Side Story is full of multi talented individuals singing and moving around the stage with ease and power in this enthralling stage production.

The uniformly strong cast give impeccable and energetic performances with vibrant dancing, fantastic vocals and a dramatic plot.  You'll leave the Opera House singing every song, and certainly won't forget this theatrical experience. What a great alternative to the usual evening of Netflix!

West Side Story runs at the Sydney Opera House until 6th October 2019

photo credit: Jeff Busby


  1. To my thought, the main goal of art is to evoke emotions, and Joey McKneely sure know how to do it right, such an immersive musical won`t leave a single viewer indifferent.

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