West Side Story celebrates first anniversary

The Broadway revival of West Side Story, directed by Arthur Laurents, celebrates its first anniversary on 19 Mar2010.

The musical opened at the Palace Theatre on 19 Mar 2009, following previews from 23 Feb, and is currently selling tickets through to 5 Sep 2010.

West Side Story recouped its $14 million investment after 30 weeks (247 performances), and a touring production is set to tour North America beginning in the fall of 2010.

West Side Story transports the tale of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the turbulent streets of the Upper West Side in 1950's New York City. Two star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria, find themselves caught between the rival street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the "Jets" and the "Sharks." The musical tells of their struggle to exist together in a world of violence, hate and prejudice.

The musical opened to mainly good reviews: "It snaps, it crackles, it pops!" (New York Post); "by far the best revival any of us will get in our lifetime. See it and cherish it." (Bloomberg); "it's still a wonderful show" (NewsDay); "as relevant and groundbreaking as the first production" (Back Stage); "this masterwork has been given the revival it deserves" (Variety).

The cast currently features Matthew Hydzik (Tony), Jeremy Jordan (Tony - on Wed eve's and Sun mat' perf's), Josefina Scaglione (Maria), Karen Olivo (Anita), John Arthur Greene (Riff), George Akram (Bernardo), Steve Bassett (Lt. Schrank), Joshua Buscher (Diesel), Mike Cannon (Snowboy), Kyle Coffman (A-Rab), Sara Dobbs (Anybodys), Wes Hart (Action), Michael Mastro (Glad Hand), Michael Rosen (Chino), Lee Sellars (Krupke), Ryan Steele (Baby John), Greg Vinkler (Doc), Mikey Winslow (Big Deal) and Mark Zimmerman.

Directed by multiple Tony Award winner and author of the musical Arthur Laurents,West Side Story features scenic designs by James Youmans, costumes by David C. Woolard, lighting by Howell Binkley and sound design by Dan Moses Schreier. Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely recreates Jerome Robbins’s original choreography. (Robbins died in 1998.)

West Side Story is written by two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents (book) and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics).

The Bernstein and Sondheim score features such classics of the American musical theatre as "Something's Coming," "Tonight," "America," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere."

The revival is produced by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, Jeffrey Seller with Terry Allen Kramer, Sander Jacobs, Freddy DeMann, Roy Furman, Robyn Goodman / Walter Grossman, Hal Luftig, Roy Miller and Broadway Across America.

West Side Story had its Broadway premiere in 1957, and was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. The production earned Robbins a Tony Award for Best Choreography.

The show was revived on Broadway in 1960, 1964 and 1980. Except for the 1964 revival, which was directed by Gerald Freedman, all previous Broadway productions were directed by Jerome Robbins and featured his original choreography.