Broadway’s ‘West Side Story’ rumbles into town

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Broadway’s ‘West Side Story’ rumbles into town

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Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” has been adapted to virtually every genre, time and place imaginable. But what is perhaps the most imaginative rendering of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, the musical “West Side Story,” has outlived almost every other adaption.
It’s already been 49 years since the show was first performed, at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway on Sept. 26, 1957, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondeim, and dance design and direction by Jerome Robbins.
The new Broadway version of “West Side Story,” by Sundance Production and Germany’s BB Promotion and starring 36 Broadway actors, will run in Harmony Hall at the Goyang Spart Complex and Park in Goyang, Gyeonggi province, beginning Sunday for a week. The show’s dance designer and director is Joey McKneely, 39, a multiple Tony award nominee, and its conductor is Donald Chan, 65, who has done more than 2,000 performances of “West Side Story.” The troupe has just finished a one-month European tour and is launching its Asian tour from Korea; the next stop is Singapore and then Japan.
The story was set in the ’50s, moved to New York and featured battling immigrant groups in the city: the Jets, a gang of Polish-American youths, and the Sharks, immigrants from Puerto Rico. Tony the Jet falls in love with Maria the Shark (more accurately, a Shark’s sister), Tony kills Maria’s brother and is then killed by a member of the Sharks in the middle of a rumble. Unlike Juliet, Maria decides not to commit suicide and instead asks the two groups to stop fighting.


by Park Sung-ha

“West Side Story” runs until March 12. The performances start at 8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sundays. There is no show on Monday. Tickets cost 20,000 won ($20) to 130,000 won for weekday performances; seats for weekend shows cost 10,000 won more. For more information, call 1544-1559, or visit www.artgy.or.kr.
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