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Musical Notes

“Everyone told us that it was an impossible project … And we were told no one was going to be able to sing augmented fourths, as with ‘Ma-ri-a’ … Also, they said the score was too rangy for pop music … Besides, who wanted to see a show in which the first-act curtain comes down on two dead bodies lying on the stage?”


Leonard Bernstein regarding the writing of West Side Story in an interview with Rolling Stone.

...


From Stephen Sondheim's book "Finishing the Hat" :

Page 51 includes additional verses for Gee Officer Krupke -

ACTION

Gee, Officer Krupke.
I'm not playin' games.
My parents are the culprits-I can
give you their names.
I'm not a delinquent
I'm misunderstood,
'Cause in the worst of us there's good.
There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good.
Even in the worst of us there's good...

Later he sang -

I'm sensitive by nature,
I'm delicate and shy.
When people say, "I hate ya"
I always start to cry.
I'm ever so artistic,
An orchid in a slum-
Goodness gracious,
That's why I'm a bum!

PSYCHOLOGIST (A-rab)

Check!
Officer Krupke,
Be kind to the kid.
It's just he's got a crazy mixed up
Sort of an id.
He needs self expression,
It mustn't be curbed-
He's psychologically disturbed.

ACTION

I'm disturbed!
We're disturbed, we're disturbed
Ever so disturbed,
Like we're psychologically disturbed!

Here are the authority figures gathered together -

JUDGE

This boy don't need correction,
The trouble's in his dome.

PSYCHOLOGIST

He don't need no injection,
The trouble's in his home.

SOCIAL WORKER

He don't need a social worker,
The trouble's in his glands.

ALL THREE

Sufferin' catfish,
Get him off our hands!

And For The Finale -

ALL

Society don't love us,
We just don't seem to fit.
Society don't love us,
So how can we love it?
Society doesn't love us,
We read it in the press-
Sufferin' catfish,
That's why we're a mess.

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Tags: 1957 broadway, books, gee officer krupke, interviews, leonard bernstein, maria, songs, stephen sondheim
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