The new film adaptation of this reimagined timeless musical is based on a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, and tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries (Sharks vs. Jets) and Tony and Maria's young love in 1957 New York City.
We're so excited about this film, for several reasons. The music is fantastic. I remember singing several of these songs in our show choir and it probably won't surprise you that I had Maria's parts. “One Hand, One Heart,” “Tonight,” and “Somewhere” have always been favorite songs of mine. “Gee, Officer Krupke” always makes me giggle.”
Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY is coming to U.S. theatres on December 10, 2021.
Sharks vs. Jets. Sure, “When you're a Jet, You're a Jet all the way. From your first cigarette To your last dyin' day,” or so the “Jet Song” goes. However, we can't be taking gang issues from 1957 and dropping them in 2021 without addressing that times have changed(ish) and making the topic relevant to today's issues, even if the story as a whole is still set in the 1950s, can we?
While it is a love story, West Side Story delivers a message and plea for racial tolerance via unforgettable song and dance numbers—music that people have been listening to and singing since the show debuted on Broadway in 1957. If this version ends only with the Sharks and Jets putting aside their differences only long enough to carry Tony off the playground pavement—echoing the ending of Romeo and Juliet when the Montagues and Capulets come to their senses, stop feuding, and reconcile after they find the two lovers lying dead in the tomb—have we learned nothing in the last 60+ years?
And the TALENT. This adaptation had Broadway and Hollywood GOLD. Rita Moreno?! She was in the original film adaptation of West Side Story as Anita in 1961. Spielberg, Tony Kushner, Justin Peck, Gustavo Dudamel, David Newman, Jeanine Tesori, Matt Sullivan, Kevin McCollum, and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Ansel Elgort as Tony, Ariana DeBose as Anita, Brian d'Arcy James as Officer Krupke, Corey Stoll as Lt. Schrank, Ben Cook as Mouthpiece, Maddie Ziegler as Velma, and sooooooo many more.
Watch the TRAILER for Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY
About Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY
Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, West Side Story tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Moreno–one of only three artists to be honored with Academy, Emmy, GRAMMY, Tony, and Peabody Awards–also serves as one of the film’s executive producers.
Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film’s creative team includes Kushner, who also serves as an executive producer; Tony Award winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (“Anastasia”), who arranged the score; Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), who supervised the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago”), who served as executive music producer for the film. The film is produced by Spielberg, Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum. “West Side Story” has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and concept, direction, and choreography by Jerome Robbins.