Help Support
« Shows

West Side Story

Based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, this musical with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and choreography by Jerome Robbins was breakthrough for the Broadway theatre for many reasons. Like On Your Toes and Oklahoma!, it contributed to the pioneering use of dance in musicals as a major story-telling device. Unlike the predecessors, its score juxtaposed many styles for a much more dissonant and vibrant, and the subject itself involved more somber issues than tackled on Broadway.

The show concerned rival gangs, one of Puerto Rican immigrants, the other of second- and third- generation Polish-Americans, and their reactions when Tony, the ex- leader of the Jets (the Polish-Americans), falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks (the Puerto Rican immigrants). Includes the songs "Tonight," "Maria," and "Something's Coming."

Original Production

Opened September 26, 1957 at the Winter Garden Theatre
Ran for 732 performances
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince
by arrangement with Roger L. Stevens
Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Co-Choreographed by Peter Gennaro
Scenic Production by Oliver Smith
Costumes by Irene Sharaff
Lighting by Jean Rosenthal
Musical Direction by Max Goberman
Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein with Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal

Original Broadway Cast

The Jets:

Riff (The Leader) - Mickey Calin
Tony (His Friend) - Larry Kert
Action - Eddie Roll
A-Rab - Tony Mordent
Baby John - David Winters
Snowboy - Grover Dale
Big Deal - Martin Charnin
Diesel - Hank Brunjes
Gee-Tar - Tommy Abbott
Mouthpiece - Frank Green
Tiger - Lowell Harris

Their Girls: Graziella - Wilma Curley
Velma - Carole D'Andrea
Minnie - Nanette Rosen
Clarice - Marilyn D'Honau
Pauline - Julie Oser
Anybodys - Lee Becker
The Sharks:

Bernardo (The Leader) - Ken Le Roy
Maria (His Sister) - Carol Lawrence
Anita (His Girl) - Chita Rivera
Chino (His Friend) - Jamie Sanchez
Pepe - George Marcy
Indio - Noel Schwartz
Luis - Al De Sio
Anxious - Gene Gavin
Nibbles - Ronnie Lee
Juano - Jay Norman
Toro - Erne Castaldo
Moose - Jack Murray

Their Girls:

Rosalia - Marilyn Cooper
Consuelo - Reri Grist
Teresita - Carmen Gutierrez
Francisca - Elizabeth Taylor
Estella - Lynn Ross
Margarita - Liane Plane

The Adults:

Doc - Art Smith
Schrank - Arch Johnson
Krupke - William Bramley
Glad Hand - John Harkins

Musical Numbers

  • Prologue
  • Jet Song
  • Something's Coming
  • Dance at the Gym
  • Maria
  • Tonight
  • America
  • Cool
  • One Hand, One Heart
  • Tonight (Quintet)
  • The Rumble
  • I Feel Pretty
  • Somewhere (Dream Ballet)
  • Gee, Officer Krupke
  • A Boy Like That
  • I Have a Love
  • Finale



  • Original Broadway Cast Recording, 1957 (Columbia CK 32603)
  • Film Soundtrack Recording, 1961 (Columbia OS 2070)

Tony Awards

  • Best Choreographer (Jerome Robbins)
  • Best Scenic Designer (Oliver Smith)

United Artists motion picture released 1961, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris

Revived on Broadway at Lincoln Center, 1968, starring Victoria Mallory, Kurt Peterson, Avind Harum, Barbara Luna, and Alan Castner

Revived on Broadway, 1980, starring Josie de Guzman, Ken Marshall, James J. Mellon, Debbie Allen, and Hector Jaime Mercado

Rights controlled by Music Theatre International

Discuss this show in's community forum: Finishing the Chat... ››



Recently Overheard...
Assassins is about how society interprets the American Dream, marginalizes outsiders and rewrites and sanitizes its collective history. "Something Just Broke" is a major distraction and plays like an afterthought, shoe horned simply to appease. The song breaks the dramatic fluidity and obstructs the overall pacing and climactic arc which derails the very intent and momentum that makes this work so compelling...”
- Mark Bakalor

Follow the thread...

“I found [the Sondheim Celebration's Company] to be completely delightful. Almost all of the numbers excited and energized me, and most of the scenes were about as pitch-perfect as you can get. I just sat there with a big smile on my face the whole show.

Which is not to say that it is perfect...”
- popcornonmyknees

Follow the thread...

Explore the rest of the Finishing the Chat Community Forum

Music, Books & More
Elaine Stritch
With three hand-held cameras, one major theatrical milestone and nearly nineteen hours of footage, this rare and intimate look with Original Cast Album - Company is a must for any Sondheim fan.

DVD: $26.96
VHS: $24.95

One of Sondheim's most beloved works is sure to be Sunday in the Park with George, available on DVD, video tape, and CD.

CD: $13.99
DVD: $25.49
VHS: $19.98

Nathan Lane
All Sondheim completists are sure to now own the first complete recording of The Frogs coupled with Evening Primrose. Do you?

CD: $18.97

Browse additional merchandise...


© 1994-2004 hijinks design. All Rights Reserved. | Site design and hosting by hijinks design.