We conclude our Show Goes On season, guest curated by Neil Brand, with ‘West Side Story’. This dazzling musical transposes Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from 16th century Verona to 1950s New York and reimagines the “star-crossed lovers” as two young people from rival gangs who fall in love despite the gulf between them.
Message from Neil Brand: “There are some screen musicals that simply never age, and this is possibly the greatest. Whether that is because choreographer Jerome Robbins directed the camera for his dances to put us right in the heart of the action, or because the gritty look and sound of 1961 New York chimes so perfectly with Leonard Bernstein’s percussive, almost avant-garde jazz score – or whether it’s simply that the idea of translating Romeo and Juliet to contemporary society was such a good one (Baz Luhrmann thought the same in 1996) – the impact and immersiveness of this story is just as great today as it was over half a century ago. Russ Tamblyn and Richard Beymer make for dynamic Jets but they are danced off the screen by Sharks George Chakiris and Rita Moreno, who both won Oscars. Once again, the restoration of this masterpiece is perfection, and will shake the Hippodrome with some of the most exciting music ever written for the musical theatre!”
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