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San Francisco residents will be taking sides with either the Jets or the Sharks this November as the critically acclaimed musical West Side Story makes its mark at the Orpheum Theatre in the City by the Bay. This new production is directed by Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents and is accompanied by the impressive musical score that features such songs as “America,” “Maria,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Tonight.”
This new revival of West Side Story is billed as “much darker” than the original 1957 production. Some of the dialogue has changed in order to make the play seem more modern and Spanish has been incorporated to give the musical an air of authenticity and to help empower the characters on the Puerto Rican side. The first production of West Side Story had elements that seemed to date it back to the 1950s. Today, audiences can enjoy the same classic tale, re-envisioned and revitalized for the stage. Don’t miss the next showing; get your own pair of West Side Story tickets as soon as possible from StubHub.
West Side Story is in its final months on the Broadway stage in New York City, with a closing date set for Jan. 2. Audiences around the country, however, have many opportunities to fall in love with the heartbreaking romantic tale of Tony and Maria. The national tour launches on October 20. In addition to San Francisco, the musical is also stopping by Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando and New Orleans, among several others.
The original Broadway production of West Side Story made its debut in 1957 and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical, though in the end, the award went to The Music Man. In 1961, the musical was transformed into a musical film of the same name, which starred Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. The movie took home 10 Academy Awards out of 11 nominations and has since become a favorite production among small theater companies and schools.
West Side Story is set in 1950s New York City. The musical invites audiences to take a look at ethnic rivalries between two street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. The former is comprised of working-class whites, while the latter is made up of Puerto Rican immigrants. Things get complicated when Tony, one of the Jets falls in love with Maria, who is associated with the Sharks through her brother Bernardo. The love story has often been cited as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, with its rivalries, deception and doomed loved story.
The production differed from many other musicals of the time with its dark themes and the specific focus on social issues and tensions between two different ethnic groups. Now, a whole new generation will be exposed to this vibrant musical, complete with impressive choreography and Leonard Bernstein’s classic musical score. Check to see which dates are marked for the San Francisco production and make sure to get tickets as soon as possible to see Tony and Maria try to reconcile the differences between the Jets and Sharks.
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