February 21st, 2020

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As ‘West Side Story’ returns to Broadway, it has a lot to say about race in America
The show’s little remembered roots tell us about the changing hierarchies in our culture.

By Warren Hoffman

Today, the 1957 musical “West Side Story” makes its return to Broadway in a radically reconceived new production by director Ivo van Hove. It’s a show that millions of people have seen onstage and screen and think they know: the white Jets finger-snapping down the street to take on the Puerto Rican Sharks, their rival gang; the score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim that has become part of the American songbook with standards like “Tonight,” “America” and “I Feel Pretty.” And who can forget Jerome Robbins’s iconic choreography?
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‘West Side Story’ Stalemate: Bernardo’s Staying. So Are Protesters.
What is the proper punishment for #MeToo-era infractions? Demonstrators have been calling for Amar Ramasar’s removal from the cast because of his role in a photo-sharing scandal at City Ballet.

By Julia Jacobs

A half-hour before the start of “West Side Story,” two dozen protesters outside the Broadway Theater inched closer to the production’s turf.

Blocked by parked cars from their usual spot in the street, they instead occupied the sidewalk alongside ticket holders, many of whom looked quizzically at the demonstrators’ signs and fliers.
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‘West Side Story’ Review: Sharks vs. Jets vs. Video
Ivo van Hove’s attention-splintering revival of the immortal 1957 musical features new choreography, a ravishing orchestra and smothering visual effects.

By Ben Brantley

No one should be surprised to hear that Ivo van Hove has blown up “West Side Story.” This industrious, experimental director is celebrated, after all, for taking an artistic detonator to sacred classics — by authors like Shakespeare, Molière, Miller and O’Neill — and letting the pieces fly.

But the blowing up I’m talking about in this curiously unaffecting reimagining of a watershed musical, which opened on Thursday night at the Broadway Theater, is the kind associated with photography, the process by which a picture is enlarged to outsize proportions.
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wss cool knees by skybound2

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Review: ‘West Side Story’ blasts back to Broadway — kinetic, bloody and modern to the core

By Charles McNultyTheater Critic

NEW YORK — During its long gestation in previews, Ivo van Hove’s bold re-imagining of “West Side Story” generated the kind of heated division normally reserved for presidential politics in a year with Donald Trump.
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‘West Side Story’ Revival Breaks All the Rules for All the Right Reasons
Director Ivo van Hove reimagines the classic for the 21st century with a remarkable cast of fresh talent and choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

By Jerry Portwood

If we’re being honest, West Side Story has seemed a little out of date for quite a while.

Rather than having the rebellious teenagers of the 1950s represented through rock & roll, the musical about Puerto Ricans newly arrived to New York City being targeted by earlier immigrants (Irish, Poles, and Italians) had Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent dissonant score coupled with Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics that capture the collision of rhythms and impulses.
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wss cool knees by skybound2

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‘West Side Story’: Theater Review
Director Ivo Van Hove dares to fiddle with perfection in this modernized but still respectful re-working of Jerome Robbins’ 1957 masterpiece.

By Marilyn Stasio

Whittled down to one hour and forty-five minutes, “West Side Story” – with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — has grown exceedingly dark and mislaid some of its moving parts in the new Broadway revival from edgy Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. (Can you bear to lose “I Feel Pretty”?) But the plot of this beloved musical remains intact: We are still witnessing the deadly ethnic-fueled violence of two rival street gangs destroy the Romeo-and-Juliet romance of those immortal young lovers, Maria and Tony.
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In the New West Side Story, When You’re Onstage You’re Onscreen All the Way

By Helen Shaw

There’s a rumble on Broadway right now, and — just as with those poor unfortunate Jets and Sharks — nobody’s winning. The tussle is happening right in the middle of West Side Story, where the Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s revival has been mortally divided against itself, done to death by its own staging and design choices.
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wss cool knees by skybound2

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This gutsy new ‘West Side Story’ is unlike any you’ve seen — and it’s exhilarating

By
Peter Marks

NEW YORK — You can teach an old show new kicks.

Look for proof to the bravura audacity of director Ivo van Hove’s movingly gutsy new “West Side Story,” the much anticipated Broadway revisit to the masterwork by the ’50s hive-mind genius of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents.
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