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When four theatrical giants — Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim — created WEST SIDE STORY, it was immediately hailed as an "indisputable, boundary-busting masterpiece” (The New York Times). Now, three of the most daring theater-makers of our time — director Ivo van Hove (A View From the Bridge and The Crucible), choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, and designer Jan Versweyveld — offer a radical, thrilling new interpretation of this iconic work, with extraordinary dancing, breathtaking vision, and 33 young, brilliantly gifted performers all making their Broadway debuts. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a landmark in musical theater history as if for the very first time.
The Sharks and the Jets go head to head in “West Side Story,” the classic 1957 musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. As a race war between the dueling gangs brews over turf on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Tony and Maria meet at a school dance and fall in love at first sight. Standing in the way of their budding romance, however, is that Maria is the brother of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks, while Tony stands with the Jets.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” and adapted for the screen in 1961, the musical masterpiece receives a makeover for the 21st century. Helmed by acclaimed Belgian-born artists director Ivo van Hove (the Tony Award-winning director of 2015’s “A View From the Bridge”) and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (celebrated for her work with the dance company Rosas), the 2020 Broadway revival will be the first major New York staging to deviate from original director Jerome Robbins’ iconic choreography.
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Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Director Ivo van Hove says the reason for changing Jerome Robbins’ choreography is to offer a “new take” aligned with the 21st century. “If you want to make a production now for today,” he told Deadline, “we need also to integrate [new] choreography.”
Though this is the first New York production featuring new choreography, the 2009 Broadway revival of “West Side Story” included Spanish translations of certain lyrics written by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Director van Hove and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker have admired each other’s work since the 1980s, but “West Side Story” marks their first collaboration.
Lyricist Stephen Sondheim wanted “West Side Story” to be the first Broadway musical to use the F-word (in the song “Gee, Officer Krupke”), but it was changed after the song was played for producers.
The musical is also being re-envisioned for the screen, with a film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg slated to be released on Dec. 18, 2020 — with a handful of actors appearing in both.
December 10th, 2019
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