Leonard Bernstein's musical masterpiece West Side Story returns tonight to Milan's Teatro Smeraldo for a two-weeks run thru April 5. The show, produced by the German agency Wolfgang Bocksch Concerts, features the highly successful original Broadway direction and Tony-winning choreography of Jerome Robbins, reproduced by Alan Johnson.
The tragic love story between Tony and Maria is one of the musical theatre all-time favourites, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents, the show originally opened on Broadway in 1957 and ran for 732 performances. There were major New York revivals in 1968 and 1980 and West End audiences saw the show again in 1973, 1984 and 1992. The 1961 screen version was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris. Leonard Bernstein conducted the original full-length score for the first time in 1984 for a recording with opera stars Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras. In 1993 West Side Story received a successful Italian version directed by Saverio Marconi and produced by Tolentino's Compagnia della Rancia, which played to sell-out audiences in the most important Italian theatres.
Max von Hessen, Dana Lynn Caruso, Christian Borle, Martin Aviles and Michelle Dejean lead a cast of 31. With scenes by Campbell Baird, costumes by Randy Barcelo and lighting by Ken Billington, the show also features an orchestra of 16 directed by Donald Chan.
Tickets for the Milan leg of West Side Story are on sale at the Teatro Smeraldo box office (tel. +39 2 54.27.4) and at various ticket agencies in Milan including Milano Ticket (tel. +39 2 76.00.91.31) and Music Tour (tel. +39 2 184.108.40.206).
--By Stefano Curti