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West Side Story

West Side Story is a musical written by Arthur Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), and originally produced and directed by Jerome Robbins[?]. West Side Story debuted on Broadway in 1957 and played 732 performances before going on tour - a very successful run for the time. In 1961, it was made into a motion picture, directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, winning ten Motion Picture Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The story line is a reworking of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set among Polish-American and Puerto Rican street gangs in New York City's Upper West Side. Tony and Maria fall in love, despite the fact that they are associated with rival gangs - Tony with the Jets, and Puerto Rican-born Maria with the Sharks.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in English language musical theatre, which had previously (with rare exceptions) tended toward light and fluffy themes. West Side Story is still produced frequently by local theatres and is occasionally produced by classical opera companies.

Bernstein's score for the musical has been extremely popular. Some of the songs include "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Tonight", "Gee, Officer Krupke", "I Feel Pretty", "One Hand, One Heart" and "Cool".

The film was #41 on American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies and #3 on its 100 Years, 100 Passions, and has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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Credits

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins[?]

Dramatis Personae

The Jets The Sharks
Riff, The Leader
Tony, His Friend
Action
A-Rab
Baby
Snowboy
Big Deal
Diesel
Gee-Tar
Mouth Piece
Tiger
 
Bernardo, The Leader
Maria, His Sister
Anita, His Girl
Chino, His Friend
Pepe
Indio
Luis
Anxious
Nibbles
Juano
Toro
Moose
Their Girls Their Girls
Graziella
Velma
Minnie
Clarice
Pauline
Anybodys
Rosalia
Consuelo
Teresita
Francisca
Estella
Margarita
The Adults
Doc
Lt. Schrank
Officer Krupke
Glad Hand

Academy Award wins and nominations for the movie
Wins (10)

Nominations (1)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - Ernest Lehman[?]

External links



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