West Side Story is a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City in the late 1950s, and explores the rivalry between two teenage gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
The musical won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 1961, it was made into a film of the same name that won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
West Side Story is an American musical that explores the rivalry between two teenage street gangs in New York City. The book, music, and lyrics were all created by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim respectively. The story is based off of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
The musical’s debut on Broadway in 1957 was a critical and popular success, and its 1961 film adaptation was also a huge success. The musical has been revived several times on Broadway, most recently in 2009. It has also been adapted for other media, including a 1961 film musical, an opera by Leonard Bernstein, and a 1981 ballet.
The Sharks are a group of Puerto Rican Americans who are taunted by the Jets, a white crew that considers itself to be real Americans. Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the Sharks’ leader. The dark atmosphere and sophisticated music, as well as lengthy dance sequences and attention on social issues, marked an evolution in American musical theater.
West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood (in the early 1960s, much of the former Jewish population had moved to the suburbs). The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
The musical’s themes include love, hate, violence, prejudice, gang warfare, and social problems in inner-city communities. Many of these issues are still relevant today. West Side Story was groundbreaking in its use of musical styles to express the emotions of the characters. Bernstein’s score incorporates Latin, jazz, and pop music, and Sondheim’s lyrics are witty and often cynical.
The musical was a critical and commercial success, winning 10 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), and is regularly revived around the world. It has been adapted into several films, most notably the 1961 version by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
Bernstein’s score for the musical has become extremely well-known, including “Something’s Coming,” “Maria,” “America,” “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Jet Song,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Cool.” Stephen Sondheim made his Broadway debut with the original 1957 Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince. It played 732 performances (at the time, a good number) before going on tour.
The musical was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1957. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry as well as preserved by the National Film Registry.
The musical has been adapted several times: a 1961 musical film directed by Robert Wise and Robbins; a musical television movie in 1981 starring Natalie Wood; and a 2009 musical film directed by Steven Spielberg. The show has enjoyed numerous successful revivals on Broadway. A 1961 musical film adaptation was released by United Artists; West Side Story was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (which made it the record holder, until The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King equaled its achievement 44 years later).
The musical has been revived several times on Broadway, most notably in 1980, 2009 and 2019. It was also adapted for a musical television movie in 1981 starring Natalie Wood, and a 2009 musical film directed by Steven Spielberg.
The action of the musical is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood (in the early 21st century, the setting has been updated to reflect contemporary New York City). The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets, a white gang, and the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang.
The young protagonist, Tony (who is Caucasian), falls in love with Maria (who is Puerto Rican), the sister of Bernardo (the leader of the Sharks). The dark themes of teenage gang violence, interracial hostility, and betrayal are set against a backdrop of social problems such as juvenile delinquency, police corruption, racial intolerance, and teenage pregnancy.
The musical is noteworthy for its innovative use of dance to further the story line; Robbins won a special Tony Award for his choreography in 1957. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as one of the best ever written for a musical. The show has been revived several times on Broadway; a successful 1981 film adaptation was released by United Artists, and a 2009 musical film directed by Steven Spielberg won five Academy Awards.
The production received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical in 1957 but ultimately lost to Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. It did, however, take home the Tony Award that year for Robbins’ choreography. Moreover, the show had an even longer-running London production than its Broadway debut and garnered international success. Its innovative 1961 musical film adaptation of the same name also won several awards.
West Side Story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood (in the early 21st century, the musical’s home turf would be called Hell’s Kitchen). The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, from Puerto Rico, are new immigrants to the city. The Jets consider themselves “American” and native New Yorkers. The two gangs compete for control of the streets. Members of each group date members of the other group, which aggravates tensions between them.