West Side Story - September 26, 2014

On this day in 1957, West Side Story opened in New York to glowing reviews. The production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, who won the Tony Award for Best Choreography. It would run for nearly two years—732 performances—and confirm Chita Rivera as a bona fide Broadway star. This was Stephen Sondheim’s first time writing lyrics for a musical, and Leonard Bernstein’s third musical score. 

Chita Rivera

Chita Rivera

Jerome Robbins on the set of the film version.

Jerome Robbins on the set of the film version.

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many Oscars did the 1961 blockbuster film version of West Side Story win?

a) 5

b) 7

c) 10

d) 12

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Enjoy the splendor of  Rita Moreno and George Chakiris in their Oscar-winning roles dancing to Oscar-winning choreography and singing Oscar-winning music.

DID YOU KNOW…

The original score for West Side Story, heavily annotated and revised by Leonard Bernstein and his co-orchestrators, Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal, is in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia University.

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) West Side Story won 10 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Chakiris), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rita Moreno), Best Director (shared for the first time by collaborators Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.