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How Ivo Van Hove Remixed West Side Story for the 21st Century


When West Side Story opened on Broadway more than 60 years ago, it shocked critics with its savage depiction of racially motivated teenage gang violence on the streets of New York City—even as Leonard Bernstein’s ravishing jazz- and Latin-inflected symphonic score, Stephen Sondheim’s virtuosic lyrics, and Jerome Robbins’s hormonally kinetic dances beguiled audiences, who fell in love with librettist Arthur Laurents’s retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

In the intervening decades, this once-groundbreaking musical has been enshrined as a classic, its gritty surface burnished to a nostalgic glow. As a result, 
West Side Story can seem to contemporary audiences, in many ways, as much of an artifact of a vanished era...READ MORE

Author: Adam Green