Ahead of its theatrical release, the stars of Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of West Side Story came out to celebrate the movie with a special screening at Jazz at Lincoln Center November 29, marking its New York City premiere. The film is set to hit theatres December 10.
Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler star as star-crossed Tony and Maria, with Tony nominee Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino, Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, and EGOT winner and star of the original film Rita Moreno, who plays the newly created Valentina.
A host of Broadway alumni fill out the cast, including Tony nominee Mike Faist, Paloma Garcia-Lee, David and Jacob Guzman, Ricky Ubeda, Ben Cook, Sara Esty, Garett Hawe, Talia Ryder, Tanairi Vazquez, Eloise Kropp, Kevin Csolak, and Jess LeProtto.
West Side Story, an update of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set on Manhattan's Upper West Side in the 1950s, opened on Broadway in 1957. The show features a score with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, who made his Broadway writing debut with the work. Arthur Laurents penned the book from a concept by Jerome Robbins, who directed and choreographed the original production.
Conceived as a blend between musical theatre and ballet, the show was groundbreaking in its use of choreography in storytelling, and virtually created the now-standard of a "triple threat" Broadway ensemble. Though only a modest success in its original Broadway outing, the work has become a cultural touchstone largely thanks to its 1961 Best Picture Oscar–winning film adaptation, which preserved Robbins' stage choreography.
The new film was adapted by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner with choreography by Tony Award winner Justin Peck.