Celebrate 60 Years of West Side Story With Rare Photos from Rehearsals to Backstage on Broadway

Archival Photos   Celebrate 60 Years of West Side Story With Rare Photos from Rehearsals to Backstage on Broadway
 
The Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical—directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins—opened September 26, 1957.
West_Side_Story_Broadway_Rehearsal_1957_Chita Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence_HR.jpg
Chita Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Larry Kert, and Carol Lawrence Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

West Side Story opened at the Winter Garden Theatre September 26, 1957. The Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but has New York teenage gangs pitted against each other instead of Verona's dueling families. It included such classic songs as "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere." The show was choreographed and staged by Jerome Robbins and Peter Gennaro, the former of whom came up with the show's original 1949 concept: "East Side Story." The piece evolved, with new music, a new location, and a new ethnicit, to become what it was on opening night. Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence, and Chita Rivera starred. A film version starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and George Chakiris (who was a member of the original London cast) was released in 1961.

Follow the production through rehearsals to backstage to the final production below:

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