Friday, January 21

Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”: The BBC Critics’ Verdict

West side story

Image source, 20th Century Studios

West Side Story, The musical that first premiered on Broadway in 1957 is timeless.

Eternal works of art can be endlessly transformed, in the same way that West Side Story (! Love without barriers “) turned Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with a balcony scene, into the story of Tony and Maria, young lovers of confronted ethnic communities in a crumbling New York.

There was a magical and unique quality to the initial release from West Side Story: the heartbreaking and beautiful music of Leonard Bernstein; the scathing but romantic lyrics of Stephen Sondheim; the book by Arthur Laurents and the classically inspired choreography by Jerome Robbins.

And there is a similar alchemy in the glorious remake. Masterfully directed by Steven SpielbergWith a cleverly conceived script by Tony Kushner and crisp new choreography by Justin Peck, the film honors the roots of the original production while giving it a 21st century sensibility.

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