December 29th, 2010

wss dance by whimsicalage

(no subject)

On Broadway: when West Side Story opened 50 years ago, dance on Broadway changed forever. But what became of its legacy?

by Sylviane Gold


So now it's been 50 years. The show that would make everything different and raise the stakes for American musicals in every creative arena, and dance especially--gave its very first performance on August 19, 1957, in Washington, D.C.

It was, Leonard Bernstein wrote to his wife the next day, "just as we dreamed it. All the ... agony and postponements and re-re-re-writing turn out to have been worth it."

Well, yes. West Side Stop, begun eight years earlier with Jerome Robbins' idea for a Romeo and Juliet story' set in a New York slum, was on at last. And no one had ever seen anything like it. These days, when entertainment "news" pervades the media and just about none of it matters, it's hard to imagine the sensation when it arrived on Broadway.
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