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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
When You’re a Jet [West Side Story]—A Dancer’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life by David Bean is the story of one of the cast members of the original film version of West Side Story. Author David Bean played one of the Jets, who was called Tiger. He also appeared in stage versions of the story. Bean also played a bit part—the fabric store owner in the “America” song—in the 2021 Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story. The book isn’t limited to Bean’s time working in West Side Story productions, however. It’s the story of his life as a dancer and actor, as well as his life outside his professional endeavors. The book contains many photographs of Bean’s time in theater and his personal life.
When You’re a Jet [West Side Story]—A Dancer’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life is a must-read book. Anyone who enjoyed the original West Side Story, who is interested in the entertainment world, or who just likes to read fascinating, well-told autobiographies should read this wonderful story. Author David Bean is not only a talented actor and dancer, but he’s also a terrific writer. Readers will enjoy Bean’s insight into the making of West Side Story as well as the stories of his encounters with celebrities. This book is highly entertaining and provides an insightful look into the entertainment world. It's also inspirational and a feel-good story. Bean has lived, in his own words, an ordinary life, and yet an extraordinary one. He tells his story with humor, along with love for all those with whom he’s crossed paths, and, I add, have been fortunate enough to cross paths with him. Reading David Bean’s book was delightful and I highly recommend his superb story to anyone.