Bernstein’s life unfolds at a crucial point in his career when he receives a phone call informing him. That he must step in as the conductor for the New York Philharmonic due to the guest conductor falling ill. This pivotal performance propels him towards becoming the first renowned American conductor. While simultaneously pursuing his passion for composing both his own music and iconic musical theater productions like West Side Story and On the Town. Amidst his upward trajectory, he encounters Felicia Montealegre, a Broadway and television actress and they immediately connect despite the fluidity of Bernstein’s sexuality. They share a deep bond, finishing each other’s sentences, endearingly calling each other “darling,” and indulging in shared interests such as parties, champagne, music, theater, and chain-smoking. Catch Maestro Soap2day streaming in HD here.
Felicia serves as a shield for Bernstein’s relationships with men, but she is far from a mere facade. The film admirably delves into the complexities of their relationship, refusing to rely on conventional social norms. Bernstein’s bisexuality and potential polyamory are explored, as he casually mentions to friends that he has slept with both of their parents. He showcased his penchant for amusing oversharing. While the film avoids simplistic categorizations, Cooper’s portrayal of Bernstein reveals a troubled soul.
His sexuality, though not overly complicated, pales in comparison to his relentless pursuit of popular success in his music and the desire for respectability in his conducting career. Bernstein’s refusal to hide his Jewish heritage is largely due to Felicia’s insistence rather than his unwavering conviction. He also yearns for acceptance, even as his desires lead him into perilous territories and his career distances him from the family he undeniably loves. At one point, Felicia brushes his hair and tells him, “You’re getting sloppy.” She has played a significant role in shaping him and continues to exert influence over his life.