When West Side Story opened on Broadway on September 26, 1957, it changed the nature of the American musical and challenged the country’s view of itself. The show dealt seriously with violence, adolescent gangs, and racial prejudice—themes rarely included in musicals—and ended with one of the show’s leads dead on stage. The integration of music, dance, and script and the theatricality of the staging were a revelation to audiences. At a time when most musicals were star vehicles, with separate dancing and singing choruses, West Side Story was cast with relative unknowns who acted, sang, and danced in this exceptionally demanding work. —Library of Congress.
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2 thoughts on “West Side Story — 50 Years Ago”
Showing my age, but that was the first musical I ever heard of and led me to my love of Broadway, even though I learned about it through the movie about 10 years later – became a fan of Natalie Woods – remembering Tony, Maria & Bernardo – Sharks & Jets, made growing up in the slums surrounded by the gangs seem more romantic than reality but gave me hope for a different tomorrow. Oh such memories! Bought the 73 LP, my husband’s & my first fight in our new home was when he broke that record. thanks for kicking up my memories Dennis!
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