West Side Story in Manila

Maybe it’s just another Romeo & Juliet.

I watched today’s show of West Side Story, with Karylle as Maria. The play ran for about 3 hours with a 15-minute intermission. (Yeah, right before Maria sings “I Feel Pretty” )

I pretty much enjoyed the show, and the songs sent chills up my spine from time to time–esp. whenever Tony (played by Christian Bautista) would appear. But I didn’t like the ending. It would be cooler to see Maria blowing her pretty little head off in the end, since there’s always one bullet left for her, right? Then, that would be the total Romeo & Juliet rip off! (BTW, the gunshot made me jumped off my seat! Nice one!)

Although I can’t help but think that maybe Karylle’s version is the “commercial” version, while Joanna’s would be the “more professional” version. But then again, it’s all in the mind… knowing that Joanna is from London West End yadda yadda yadda, while Karylle only has Trumpet’s Little Mermaid under her belt. Well, I know some people who’d rather see Joanna play as Maria.. but hey, I can say that the show with Karylle as the female lead is also worth your money. I mean, she played the role really well and her voice blended with Christian’s perfectly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I even tried to sneak-record one song so I can post it here.. but I wasn’t successful! The stars did not align for me to record any! I also tried taking pictures of the show, but it was all blurry! (Ugh. Remind me to finally study my cam’s settings…)

When the show was over, I immediately went to the lobby so maybe I can get a copy of the soundtrack. But there was none! The only record that was sold there was Joanna Ampil’s album–for a damn thousand bucks! Who’d buy that?! WHY DIDN’T THEY OFFER THE SOUNDTRACK INSTEAD??? JUST LIKE LITTLE MERMAID’S????? AND BEAUTY AND THE BEAST???? WHY???

Anyway, if ever you have watched Joanna Ampil’s version, please do tell me about it ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. i was able to watch Joanna perform as Maria on opening night…and to describe it in one word.. it was SUBLIME! her voice was so clear and powerful, her diction was clear that even in the high notes you can understand everything. Hindi bitin yet hindi bumibirit. She was so good that her performance seemed effortless. She really was Maria, right down pat to the facial expressions and she even maintained the spanish accent even during the high notes. There were times during their 1st duet that Christian sounded a bit tentative such that his voice got drowned by Joanna’s but after that he found his rhythm. My only regret is that Maria didn’t have a full song solo.. for me that was the only thing missing in the entire WSS. We could have gotten a full dose of Joanna’s voice.

    Sheesh… i didn’t see the joanna CD being sold. Its actually a teeny weeny bit more expensive than if you get in amazon. Its actually sells for $18.99. But then hawak ko na sana and i would not waited for the delivery.

  2. Hi Judith, really? oooh.. that’s why they all wanted to know Joanna’s showing dates! Well, as for the Karylle version, I did notice that there are times when her voice would get softer in high notes.

    I didn’t find enough reason in buying the Joanna Ampil CD… but then again, maybe if it was her version of WSS that I saw maybe I would’ve bought it. Owell, still, it would be great if they sold the soundtrack at the lobby though and not just WSS choco bars… coz I wouldn’t mind paying a grand for the soundtrack coz what I really wanted to get is Christian’s rendition of the songs! I mean, he’s the reason why I even watched it in the first place! Haha

  3. I was also in the opening night. We made sure we’ll see Joanna. You will not appreciate her until you’ve seen and heard her, and actually compare her to other plays you’ve seen. ๐Ÿ™‚ She was so professional [her facial expressions are pefect for every mood and scene], Christian Bautista and the rest looked like understudies. She had unquestionable lyrics [very clear voice], and i thought she’s perfect for the part because – She’s small and cutesy… i cant imagine a tall girl for the part, making lovey-lovey and pa-cute to Tony ๐Ÿ™‚ [were planning to watch the Karylle version as well for further appreciation and comparison].. and people were actually crying with her on the last part…

    On the negative part… there was one part we had to laugh at Christian Bautista when he shouted “Chiiiiinoooooo!!!” [Tony was told Chino shot Maria]. It was the wrong expression, and funny, and the timing was weird… we were laughing [it was the opening night – so understandable i guess :)]…to think we were sitting in the front middle… but it was funny, and i heard people making the same comment outside when it was all over.

    I cant believe they’re selling Joanna version CDs that much… Eventhough i didnt see Karylle… i might buy her version.

  4. I believe Joanna’s CD (only 50 pcs left) sell for a P1,000 because it is UK manufactured and therefore cost is in pounds and with commissions to the seller—Joanna may just be breaking even on offering it in Manila.

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