Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story begins performances June 2. Francesca Zambello's acclaimed staging, featuring almost 100 artists, returns to Chicago’s biggest stage, the Lyric Opera House, through June 25.
Music director James Lowe conducts the limited engagement, featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Bernstein, and lyrics by Sondheim, West Side Story opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre September 26, 1957. It played 732 performances before closing June 27, 1959. Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Robbins, the original cast included Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, and Chita Rivera as Anita. Robbins won the Tony Award for his choreography, and Oliver Smith took home the prize for Best Scenic Design. It was nominated as Best Musical but lost to The Music Man.
The memorable Bernstein-Sondheim score boasts such tunes as "Tonight," "America," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty," and "Somewhere."