West Side Story is one of the best loved musicals of all time. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, its timeless story and exhilarating dance and music continue to excite audiences around the globe. Songs such as Maria, Somewhere, Tonight, and America have all become some of the biggest hits in show business.
Now, as the world prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story in 2017, dancer Bruno Tonioli and broadcaster Suzy Klein go in search of the true stories behind the inception of this classic show.
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and specially cast singers we re-live some of the wonderful music, and in the company of Suzy and Bruno we discover how West Side Story placed the 1950s phenomena of racial tension and teenage gangs centre stage to create a hit that changed musical theatre forever.
The opening night
The original Maria relives the opening night of West Side Story. Set to the 'Tonight' quintet.