The original Broadway production of West Side Story opened September 26, 1957 at the Winter Garden Theatre. It ran for two years and 732 regular performances before it closed June 27, 1959.
Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Jerome Robbins with co-choreography by Peter Gennaro, written by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story put onstage the Manhattan of the era—a Manhattan teaming with gang violence and warring cultures.
The original production starred Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, Mickey Calin as Riff, Chita Rivera as Anita and Ken Le Roy as Bernardo.
So what did critics have to say about the musical that would go one to become one of the barometers of the great American musical theatre when it first came out?
Read reviews below:
New Herald Tribune (Walter Kerr)
The New York Times (Brooks Atkinson)
New York Daily News (John Chapman)