West Side Story is back on movie theater screens across the country in a new incarnation, blessed by the late Stephen Sondheim.
The musicians of the Cape Symphony will perform selections from West Side Story during our New Year’s Day Party!
Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story takes place in a New York neighborhood separated by racial divisions and hostilities between rival gangs. Director and choreographer Jerome Robbins had the original idea to do a contemporary musical based on the Shakespeare play, and he brought it to two other giants, composer Leonard Bernstein and playwright Arthur Laurents. They added in a young Stephen Sondheim to write the lyrics, and together, they changed musical theatre.
Originally produced on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story did not win the Best Musical Tony that year because another soon-to-be-classic, The Music Man, appeared that same year. Jerome Robbins won the Tony for Best Choreography and Oliver Smith won for Best Scenic Design. The 1961 film version of West Side Story won the Best Picture Oscar as well as nine other Academy Awards.
The new film version is directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, taking the lead on his first musical. The National Board of Review and the American Film Institute both named the 2021 West Side Story as one of the top ten films of the year. Rita Moreno, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the 1961 film, appears in a different role in the 2021 version.