On September 26, 1957, a show opened on Broadway that changed what the world could expect from musical theatre. West Side Story, a contemporary updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, used experimental music by Leonard Bernstein and first-timer Stephen Sondheim and nearly non-stop dancing by Jerome Robbins to tell the story of star-crossed lovers on the streets of uptown Manhattan.
On September 26, 2017, the show’s 60th anniversary will be celebrated with a 7 PM tribute concert featuring performances of “Something’s Coming,” “Maria,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” “Somewhere,” and other songs from the score.
Performers will include Ashley Marie (Maria in West Side Story at Musical Theatre West and Riverside Repertory Theater in California); Tyler William Milliron (Spamilton); Leah Horowitz (Follies and Irving Berlin's White Christmas on Broadway); Natalie Storrs (Sister Act national tour); and the award-winning cabaret/nightclub star Natalie Douglas. Plus, performances by John and Matthew Drinkwater, and a special appearance by Harvey Evans, whose credits include replacing in the role of Gee–Tar during the show’s original run, and appearing as Mouthpiece in the show’s film adaptation (both under the stage name Harvey Hohnecker).
Members of the show’s original 1957 cast are also planning a reunion in Manhattan September 27.
The September 26 Feinstein’s/54 Below event is being produced and hosted by theater historian Michael Portantiere with musical direction by Matthew Martin Ward.
Tickets cost $35–$75 plus a $25 food/drink minimum, and can be ordered at 54Below.com. Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street below Studio 54.