West Side Story at the beautiful Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Our tickets were a nice Christmas surprise; West Side Story is my favorite musical of all-time. I know pretty much every word and every song by heart; I played flute and piccolo in the pit orchestra of my high school musical. I love the story; as I mentioned recently, Romeo and Juliet is my favorite Shakespeare play and one of my favorite books of all-time. I also love the music; it's a lot of fun to play with all the syncopated rhythms and variety. It's hard to pick a favorite number, but I love "Tonight" and "Somewhere." I enjoyed this version a lot, mostly because I love the musical, but I did find that the singing and dancing was uneven in spots. I thought as a whole, the Jets and Tony (who reminds me of Adam Brody, or more specifically, Seth of the OC) were a little weak. The Sharks were much more memorable: Anita is always a show-stealer, and Maria had a lovely voice and presence. On the whole though, I don't think it was significantly better than my high school version; we had some amazing singers and dancers in high school, arguably some that were stronger than these Broadway professionals. I think it's telling that Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Segel were only supporting actors and not the leads in my high school production of Westside Story (playing Riff and Lt. Schrank, respectively), goes to show the level of talent at that school. Despite some flaws in this current production, it was still thrilling to see the musical live again and I had a great time.
After the show, we went across the street to the hot new W in Hollywood and had a late dinner at Delphine, a french brasserie / bistro type of place. The restaurant was lovely, very airy and bright. A little bit of bistro feel with some subway tiles, but also a little bit of outdoor, Cuban feel, with the patio furniture, and very light wood accents. The food was pretty solid; lots of French brasserie classics like Croques Monsieurs, French Onion Soup, etc. I ordered the steak sandwich which was good, albeit with a little too much mayo. Fries were good though and portion sizes were decent. Service was pretty absent though, particularly in a restaurant that was pretty empty. 15% service charge is included for parties of all sizes, so that might explain the apathy. We won't be back, but it was fine for a post-theater bite.
Delphine Eatery & Bar
6250 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028