BritishTheatre

Published on

May 16, 2017

Top 100 Greatest Musicals Poll – Number 6 – West Side Story

By

douglasmayo

Top 100 Greatest Musicals - West Side Story - Number 6

The film adaptation of West Side Story.

West Side Story with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by a then-aspiring young lyricist (although he wanted to write both music and lyrics) Stephen Sondheim is one of the truly great musicals of all time.

In taking Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and transposing its story to the gang culture and conflicts of 1950's New York, its composers created a musical which is as timeless as its source material.

Originally directed and choreographed by the legendary Jerome Robbins, West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957 where it ran for 732 performances. Surprisingly, when you look back the show only won two Tony Awards in 1958 for Choreography and Scenic Design. The big winner that year was The Music Man!

https://youtu.be/NF1L3NorO3E

There is little doubt that the popularity of West Side Story grew as a result of the movie adaptation made in 1961 which was co-directed by Robert Wise (director of The Sound Of Music) and Jerome Robbins. West Side Story was the second highest grossing film of the year in the USA and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning 10 including Best Picture. It remains the record-holder for most Oscar wins by a movie musical.

Created at a time when Broadway still was a key influence of the popular music charts, West Side Story's impressive score included songs like Maria, Tonight, America, I Feel Pretty, and Something's Coming all of which would be recorded by performers all over the world.

https://youtu.be/SmqpktteK4Q

Before his death Arthur Laurents revisited West Side Story, directing a Broadway production which wove Spanish dialogue and lyrics into the show's libretto. The translations were provided by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Not bad for a show which was originally to be called East Side Story whose central plot was still Romeo and Juliet but whose central characters were from Irish and Jewish families!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WEST SIDE STORY

View the countdown:-

100 – 91 90- 81 80- 71 70 – 61 60 – 51 50 – 41 40 – 31 30 -21 20 – 11 10 9

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
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Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..