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West Side Story is one of the most influential musicals of all time. It was an ingenious creation that made serious waves when it debuted in 1957. The extended dance scenes (rare for Broadway at the time) provided a venue for the now legendary Jerome Robbins'(The King and I, The Pajama Game, Gypsy) innovative choreography, and it introduced Broadway to Stephen Sondheim(Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd), who wrote the lyrics for the show. Broadway darling Chita Rivera (Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman) launched her career by creating the role of Anita and went on to open the London production. During a long and arduous development period in which the show evolved a great deal, many potential investors doubted that such a dark show could be successful on Broadway, but audiences have been appreciating its striking beauty for decades despite, or perhaps because of, its somber tone.
Critics raved when West Side Story opened. Its gritty, realistic plot, fresh dance styles, and wide range of musical styles marked an invited change in musical theatre tradition, and it went on to receive several Tony Award nominations. Since its Broadway opening, West Side Story has spawned productions all over the world, including London's West End, a Scandinavian tour, a tour of Israel, Africa, and the Near East, Japan, Hong Kong, and Austria, among others, and it has been revived on Broadway twice (in 1980 and in 2009). The now-classic 1961 musical film adaptation, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, went on to win ten Academy Awards out of its eleven nominations. Get your West Side Story tickets now to see this cultural milestone performed live.
See the new West Side Story Broadway revival as the production brings Spanish lyrics and dialogue into the English libretto. Don't miss the chance to catch one of the most famous musicals West Side Story. Check out the West Side Story schedule, pick out your seats, and buy your West Side Story tickets today!Plot Synopsis:
In the mid-1950s, two gangs of New York City teenagers struggle for control of the same turf. The Jets are white, working -class boys while the Sharks are of Puerto Rican descent, many being immigrants. The two groups are warned by the authorities, led by Lieutenant Schrank and Officer Krupke, to stop their incessant fighting. One day when the police chase off the Sharks, the Jets' leader, Riff, suggests staging a rumble to assert their authority. They plan to make the formal challenge at the neighborhood dance. Riff finds his friend and former gang member Tony and convinces him to join the rumble for old time's sake. Although Tony agrees to join the gang just this once, he dreams for a better future away from this violent setting. Meanwhile, Maria, a teenager who has just arrived from Puerto Rico, works in a bridal shop with Anita, the girlfriend of her brother, Bernardo. Maria is set to be married to Chino, a member of the Sharks who her family has chosen for her husband.
At the dance that night, Maria and Tony lock eyes across the room and fall instantly in love. Just as they begin to dance together, Bernardo pulls her away and sends her home. Riff and Bernardo agree to meet later at Doc's Drug Store, a neutral ground, to discuss the upcoming fight. Meanwhile, Tony finds Maria at her home and begins to serenade her, and the lovers begin to sing of their love for one another. At the "War Council," the rival gangs agree to a fair fight without weapons. When Tony tells Doc about his relationship with Maria, he expresses his worry that it could be dangerous, but Tony is blinded by his love. The next day, Maria asks Tony to stop the fight so that no one she cares about gets hurt, and he agrees to try. When he arrives at the rumble, Bernardo taunts him mercilessly, but Tony keeps his cool. But when Bernardo stabs Riff, Tony stabs him in a fit of rage, and the others begin a free-for-all rumble. What will it take for the violence to stop? Can Tony and Maria's love survive this bitter rivalry? Check out the West Side Story schedule and get your tickets today to see the whole classic story.Run Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes with one intermission Advisory: Recommended for teens and older (adult language, adult themes: violence, sexuality, racism) Awards: 1958 Tony Awards: 6 nominations, 2 wins 1980 Tony Awards: 3 nominations 2009 Tony Awards: 4 nominations, 1 win 2009 Laurence Olivier Awards: 2 nominations Creative Team: Music Leonard Bernstein Lyrics Stephen Sondheim Book Arthur Laurents West Side Story News: October, 2010 A national tour of the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story opens in Detroit!