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West Side Story

Audiences = 4.1

Running since February 2009
The great American musical returns to Broadway in a starkly dramatic production that Variety calls "a brilliant evocation of its period and a timeless tragedy."
Closes January 2nd.

The Broadway production of West Side Story closed January 2, 2011. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.

Broadway critics and insiders were split on this revival. Directed by Arthur Laurents (who collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins to transport Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Manhattan's violent Upper West Side more than 50 years ago), it is darker than most predecessors, and attempts to heighten the verisimilitude by having some characters speak and sing in Spanish.

John Simon of Bloomberg News said it "will prove by far the best revival any of us will get in our lifetime," while Elysa Gardner of USA Today said the "attempts to be inclusive and grittily realistic…make the show seem no fresher, only a tiny bit less magical."

All agreed, however, that the large cast and orchestra (37 on stage and 30 in the pit) perform Bernstein’s glorious music and Robbins’ balletic dances (which have become as much a part of the show as the words and music) beautifully. Few things are as downright wonderful as a great Broadway musical, and in this production, the thrills and chills are abundant, and the tears well-earned.

One suggestion – scan the lyrics to "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That" before the show. Both are performed completely in Spanish, and while the Playbill includes the lyrics, you’ll have a hard time reading in the dark and watching the show simultaneously.

Here's a 5-minute video of from the 2009 Tony Awards:



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