The Story With Vanity Fair’s ‘Web Exclusive’ West Side Story Feature

By

We know, it seems like we're piling on the ol' Vanity Fair this week. But we were a little surprised by the lavish photo slideshow that appeared on the magazine's website Monday. Inspired by West Side Story, which reopens on Broadway tonight, it features Jennifer Lopez as Anita, Camilla Belle as Maria, Ben Barnes as Tony, and Ashley Tisdale and a bevy of other actors all decked out in the finest designer costumes and photographed by one of VF's top photographers, Mark Seliger. Is Condé Nast not only finally taking the Internet seriously, we wondered, but taking it seriously enough to dedicate this level of profligacy to a Broadway show? If so, that's great! Although kind of weird ... especially considering the budget cuts that have happened there lately. But as it turns out, the pictures were taken in happier times (last May at Paramount Studios in Hollywood) — "It was like making-a-movie big," one person said of the shoot — and were intended for the company’s Movies Rock supplement. Of course, back in October, the company killed Movies Rock (a glitzy advertorial polybagged along with Condé titles and sent to subscribers) along with its sister publication, Fashion Rocks. So “we decided to release it on the web to coincide with the opening of West Side Story,” VF spokesperson Beth Kseniak explained. It was probably the best decision, but we can't help but wish the pictures were bigger. Seeing Chris Evans dance himself to death is something that really requires a lot of pixels.