Sunday, August 5, 2007

West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein's score for West Side Story is truly amazing. Personally, this musical is one of my favourites: having performed this (as a musician) when I was in college, and then with the national symphony orchestra later on in years, a few times. This song, Tonight, was ringing in my mind tonight, and hence this entry.

There are also other beautiful scores in this musical which may be familiar: Somewhere, Maria, I Feel Pretty, to name a few. But Tonight remains one of my favourite piece.

The story in West Side Story is based loosely on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but with a 'modern' downtown flavour to it. Set in Manhattan's Upper West Side, the musical explores the rivalry between two teenage gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The young protagonist, Anton, who belongs to the white gang, falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of the rival Puerto Rican gang.

The original 1957 Broadway production ran for 732 performances (a successful run for the period) before going on tour. The production garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical in 1957. The show has enjoyed an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals and international successes, and spawned an innovative, award-winning 1961 musical film of the same name, featuring the beautiful and talented Natalie Wood. It won 10 Oscars out of the 11 it was nominated for.

1 comment:

I Am ZeroZero! said...

imagine this scenario, the parents are just a window away and the kids are singing their hearts out showing their affection for each other...it takes gutts I tell you *giggle*

tonight is what it means to be young... perhaps;)

"I cannot stay..." Maria