West Side Story is considered the first modern musical, a groundbreaking musical and the most successful musical of all time, in which the language of popular music is employed to create in the style of classical music.
The production that will be performed in Tel Aviv was created to mark the 50-year anniversary of the world premiere in New York, and will open the festive 25th season of the Israeli Opera.
This production’s director Joey McKneely is responsible for the renewal of the original choreography and direction by Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robins. The orchestra’s conductor is Donald Chan. The production’s cast of singer-actor-dancers include some of the finest young artists currently performing on the big stages of Broadway in New York and London’s West End. The singers will be accompanied by the Raanana Symphony, reinforced by some of the musicians participating in the worldwide tour. Performances will be held in the musical’s original language (English) with Hebrew subtitles based on the classic translation of West Side Story into Hebrew by Ehud Manor.
West Side Story takes place in New York, when Tony and Maria lose their love and their innocence because of the racist society in which they live is unwilling to let them enjoy this ardent love.
The musical is interlaced with wonderful dance numbers, with the atmosphere created among the young New York gangs accompanied by action filled dance numbers – tempestuous street dances on the one hand, and more reserved ballroom dancing on the other. Bernstein composed thrilling music that characterizes each one of the gangs, and each one of the characters in the musical – from the heroes Tony and Maria, to supporting characters including Bernardo, the leader of the Puerto Rican gang and his girl Anita, Riff, the leader of white gang, Chino, Maria’s Puerto Rican fiancé, and many others.
Rave reviews for the production visiting Israel:
“This production is one of last century’s giant achievements of musical theatre, causing the heart to burst into song” (Guardian, UK)
“This production, marking the 50th anniversary of West Side Story, is truly wonderful. West Side Story is not only a landmark in the history of musicals. Never before or after has music, singing, dancing and a story been merged into such a perfect creation. Yesterday, the hall was full of light. Without West Side Story, the world of musicals would be a much poorer one”. (Stuttgart Zeitung, 26 September 2007)
19 Shaul Hamelech Avenue, Tel Aviv