Thursday, September 27, 2007
West Side Story at 50
Yesterday, September 26, was the 50th anniversary of the opening of West Side Story, my favorite Broadway show. I'm sorry to say I was too busy at work to blog about it, although there is certainly nothing at work more important than this landmark production.
The show starred the lovely (and not very Puerto Rican) Carol Lawrence as Maria and the handsome and talented Larry Kert as Tony. See how pretty they are?
The force of nature that is Chita Rivera originated the role of Anita, and I bet she could do it again today. The show won Tonys for Jerome Robbins' choreography and Oliver Smith's set design, but the award for Best Musical went to The Music Man.
When I was 8 years old, I saw the movie version and was enthralled. I vividly remember sprawling on the shag carpet, head in hands, glued to the black and white Magnavox TV-Hi-Fi console combination, falling hopelessly in love with Richard Beymer's Tony and deciding that my calling in life was to become Rita Moreno. When my birthday came around there was only one thing I wanted: The West Side Story soundtrack. I asked for show tunes for my 9th birthday.
I didn't get the album. Instead, I got a shotgun. Really. A shotgun. Trust me, a firearm was not on my wish list. My parents were always very generous with birthday and Christmas gifts, but they drew the line at West Side Story. Maybe it was the months I spent dancing up and down the hall, singing "America" and swishing my imaginary skirts.
Then, two years ago, my wonderful husband gave me the original Broadway cast recording for Christmas. Sigh. It really is a love story.
Posted by Sam at 11:18 AM