Those Dancing Sharks Are Back



West Side Story
Directed by Arthur Laurents
Palace Theatre, New York


IN THE 1950’s, four gay men of genius got together and created what is arguably the greatest Broadway show ever. The brainchild of choreographer Jerome Robbins, West Side Story was WestSideStoryinitially going to be called “East Side Story” and focus on Jewish–Catholic tensions. But once the more dramatic gang war idea took hold, pitting white Americans against Puerto Ricans on rough turf on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the team’s imagination was fired up. West Side Story was Stephen Sondheim’s first Broadway show as a lyricist and Leonard Bernstein’s fourth Broadway score (after On the Town, Wonderful Town, and the Broadway operetta Candide). Arthur Laurents, later famous for Gypsy, wrote the book.

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