West Side Story, the landmark American musical, will return to Broadway in a new production directed by two-time Tony Award winning librettist Arthur Laurents. The production is scheduled to open on a date to be announced in March 2009 with preview performances beginning on Monday, February 23, 2009 at a Nederlander Theatre to be announced. West Side Story will play an out of town engagement December 16, 2008 through January 17, 2009 at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., where the musical made its world premiere in 1957. The original Jerome Robbins choreography will be restaged by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).
“This show will be radically different from any other production of West SIde Story ever done. The musical theatre and cultural conventions of 1957 made it next to impossible for the characters to have authenticity. Every member of both gangs was always a potential killer even then. Now they actually will be. Only Tony and Maria try to live in a different world” said Arthur Laurents, who was recently nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for his direction of Gypsy, also one of his librettos.
This production, with an onstage cast of 37 and 30 musicians in the orchestra pit, will introduce the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs.
The original production of West Side Story premiered at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957.
Casting information and onsale date for tickets will be announced at a later date.
While not the new production's site, the official West Side Story site is www.westsidestory.com