The Story of West Side Story

September 26, 1957, would mark the beginning of a worldwide celebrated story and one of the most beautiful productions of the 50’s. This was the original production of West Side Story and would be widely celebrated for the next two years after its production. There were more than 732 regular performances ran for a period of two years before it officially closed in 1959.

The Setting of the Story

The world will remember Arthur Laurent with his exceptional skills not just as an author but also a competent director. West Side Story was not an individual work but involved Jerome Robbins who choreographed and directed the entire setting.


1957-New York, NY: Theater still from the 1957 Broadway production of ‘West Side Story,’ directed by Jerome Robbins. This scene shows the high school dance. (Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Stephen Sondheim did the lyrics while Leonard Bernstein made the music. The story came at a perfect timing of what was happening in Manhattan and addressed various concerns such as the warring culture and gang violence. The story borrowed so much from Romeo and Juliet, and many see it as an update of this famous play. New York had changed by the ‘50s and, therefore, the story of Romeo and Juliet which was a darling for many in the ‘40s did not have much influence in the current world. The author and the director of the story twisted the storyline and increased the tension in the play making it more dynamic. Many people perceived it as a classic work that portrayed someone’s life not just at that particular time but would continue to unfold throughout their lives.

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