FACTS ABOUT WEST SIDE STORY:
Opened: September 26, 1957
Original West Side Story Director: Jerome Robbins
West Side Story Music By: Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story Lyrics By: Stephen Sondheim
Tony Award Nominations: 13
Tony Awards Won: 3
In the world of musicals, there's no show quite like West Side Story. With timeless music, memorable characters and a story that is a loose adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, this play has been a standard in both amateur and professional theater for more than 50 years, and its 1961 film version won an astonishing 10 Academy Awards. It's hard to find someone who won't recognize at least a few bars of some of the iconic Leonard Bernstein songs.
However, for those unfamiliar with the classic musical, the story focuses on a forbidden love between Tony, a member of the Jets and Maria, a member of their rival gang - the Sharks. In true Shakespearean fashion, they have to navigate the whirlwind romance while trying to hide their relationship from there the other members of their respective gangs. Of course, anybody who is even remotely familiar with Romeo and Juliet, may know how this one turns out.
The show has been performed regularly for decades and most recently enjoyed a 2009 Broadway revival and United States tour, which closed on January 2, 2011 after more than 730 shows nationwide. It has also been a popular musical the world over, enjoying numerous international tours as well.
The original Broadway production opened in 1957, with Larry Kert as Tony and Carol Lawrence as Maria. It was an immediate hit with audiences and critics and was nominated for a slew of Tony Awards. Over the years, theater reviewers have applauded the impressive choreography and often cite the gang-related tension as more compelling and interesting than the featured love story.
Of course, the music of West Side Story is what even casual musical theater fans recognize the most. Bernstein wrote the tunes along with Stephen Sondheim, who is responsible for penning some of the most popular musicals of the last century including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Into the Woods and Sweeny Todd. In addition to "I Feel Pretty," which is almost instantly recognizable, the show features the upbeat dance number "America" and the Tony-led song "Maria." You should leap at the opportunity if ever given the chance to see this piece of classic American theater.
West Side Story Ticket Information:
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