See West Side Story just once and you become infatuated like fans the world over. Conceived and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the powerful lyrics of West Side Story were written by Stephen Sondheim and accompanied by the moving music of Leonard Bernstein. Be drawn into the lives of Maria and Tony with your West Side Story tickets from StubHub.
West Side Story - a background
Arthur Laurent's book for the musical West Side Story was based directly on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet written in 1594 - a tragic tale of two doomed lovers thwarted by circumstances in medieval Verona. Fast forward 400 years to the city streets of mid-20th-century New York and nothing much has changed. The 1954 street rioting by Chicano Americans in Los Angeles was the modern inspiration for Laurents. The location was moved from LA to New York's West Side, the gangs became Manhattan's Puerto Ricans and in 1957 the legend that is West Side Story was born!
Although not an opera, West Side Story is operatic in its scale with the menace of New York's street gangs subtly evoked by the tritone interval used throughout the score. A deliberate feature of the original production was the choice of using untried kids rather than established names. The story revolves around teens and young adults struggling with their place in a new society so the use of raw talent totally suited the show. During rehearsals and in the lead up to opening night, choreographer Jerome Robbins deliberately kept the cast members of the Sharks and Jets apart, daily posting newspaper bulletins of warring street gangs in an effort to create the gritty realism of gang culture on the stage. Many of the original cast went on to have successful stage and screen careers but the most famous career launched was that of Stephen Sondheim, the lyricist.
West Side Story - a musical to fall in love with
Not surprisingly West Side Story and the sad end to Tony and Maria's young love soon found its way into the hearts of fans as well as critics. The original Broadway production scooped the prestigious Antoinette Perry Awards for scenic design, choreography, best supporting actress and best conductor. West Side Story continues to play around the world to great acclaim. It has been in London's West End twice and toured the United Kingdom twice as well as being translated into a dozen or more languages. Visit StubHub for your West Side Story tickets to become a part of this iconic love story.