West Side Story

The Misfits morphs into West Side Story and I flash back to the time I was nearly killed in a vicious gang dance. Those grade school square dance lessons–if it wasn’t duck and cover back then, it was square dancing–saved me from a mean pirouetting. When you’re a Jet…one of my last soprano moments was reading aloud from one of these scenes in English class in junior high. I was Tony. Bernardo was a kid whose voice had already plummeted. “Bottles!” he croaked. “Bottles, knives, guns!” I squeaked. I remember the teacher giggling. Within days my voice began cracking like thunder, dropping octaves in an instant. But I digress. I just wanted to point out that Natalie Wood has the greatest Spanish accent ever, up there with Sid James’ western twang in Carry On Cowboy. I always picture her dialect coach as Fortunio Bonanova in Citizen Kane, screaming No! No! No! No! No! at poor Dorothy Comingore. Also, it’s amazing what Rita Moreno could do with a pair of stockings. And did everyone sing like Marni Nixon back then?

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