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America’s Most Famous Star-Crossed Lovers at Colonial

West Side Story comes to town


Ali Ewoldt and Kyle Harris star as ill-fated lovers Maria and Tony in West Side Story. Photo by Joan Marcus

When West Side Story first opened on Broadway in 1957, critics hailed its soaring music, dazzling choreography and brooding dialogue as groundbreaking. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the musical is the story of doomed lovers Maria and Tony, tied to rival ethnic gangs in New York City.

Featuring some of Broadway’s most haunting songs (“Somewhere,” “Maria”), West Side Story was the result of a brilliant collaboration among Leonard Bernstein (score), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Arthur Laurents (book), and Jerome Robbins (choreography). The original production ran more than 700 performances. The 1961 film version, starring Natalie Wood, won 10 Academy Awards.

A national touring production of the 2009 Broadway revival is at the Colonial Theatre through July 9. And like the revival, this production of West Side Story is notable for introducing Spanish into some of the play’s dialogue and lyrics—a marked change from the original production. Presented by Broadway Across America, the national tour wisely retains Robbins’ original choreography.

West Side Story is running at the Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston St., Boston, through Saturday, July 9. Ticket prices range from $27 to $91. To order tickets, call 800-982-2787 or visit the Colonial Theatre box office. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to the Boylston St. stop.

In the video above, watch a teaser for Broadway Across America’s production of West Side Story.

John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.

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