- West Side Story is one of the twentieth century’s greatest musicals. The premiere in 1957 saw 732 performances, followed by a tour of America’s largest cities with 249 further performances.
- After the exceptionally successful production in America, the British version of West Side Story, performed on London’s West End, was also an outstanding success, with over 1,000 performances.
- The original version of the musical West Side Story was followed by three more versions – in 1980, 2009 and 2020. The one from 2009 was the most successful, and was performed 748 times with over one million tickets sold, while the 2020 production was halted by the COVID epidemic after only 24 performances.
- The musical’s author, Arthur Laurents, intended the role of Tony to be played by James Dean, although the actor died in a tragic accident before this could happen.
- The premiere and the four performances of Mykal Rand’s version of West Side Story will be performed for the first time at this year’s jubilee Ljubljana Festival.
Book: Arthur Laurents
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Music: Leonard Bernstein
Director and choreographer of the original production: Jerome Robbins
Director and choreographer: Mykal Rand
Producer, Casting Director: Danielle Tarento
Musical Director: Michael Bradley
Associate Musical Director: Jon Ranger
Set and Costume Designer: Jason Denvir
Sound Designer: Chris Whybrow
Lighting Designer: Andrew Exeter
Tony: Adam Filipe
Maria: Rosalia Morales
Anita: Philippa Stefani
Riff: Christopher Parkinson
Bernardo: Fernando Mariano
Chino: Alex Abad Cabedo
Diesel: Tobias Turley
Action: Travis Ross
A-Rab: Sam Brown
Baby John: Joseph Peacock
Big Deal: Joshua De La-Garde
Anybodys: Annie Southall
Graziella: Lulu-Mae Pears
Velma: Maddy Ambus
Pepe: Lucas Piquero
Luis: Samuel Routley
Indio: Wade Lewin
Rosalia: Serina Mathews
Consuelo: Leah Vassell
Francisca: Gabriela Acosta
Sergeant Krupke/ Doc: Paul Kemble
Lieutenant Schrank/ Glad Hand: Scott Armstrong
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
In 1957, Broadway staged the premiere of the musical West Side Story. The history of the New World’s musical centre dates back to the 18th century; however, a significant developmental moment in the history of US musical art is found in the musicals of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II (The Sound of Music, etc.) West Side Story was a considerable shift away from the existing conventions of traditional musicals, which included story, text and music; the subject matter was relevant at the time, the story itself ends tragically, while the music was written by the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, who staged works of the great classical composers. The reactions to the first performance were thrilling; critics described the musical as a provocative and artful combination of music, dance, and a story that embodies the pulse and sweetness of the city that never sleeps. The story is set in mid-1950s Manhattan and depicts the rivalry between two gangs belonging to different ethnic backgrounds and, inspired by Shakespeare’s drama Romeo and Juliet, the impossibility of a romantic relationship between members of different gangs. There are also film versions of West Side Story – the most recent one in 2021 was directed by Steven Spielberg.
The musical will be performed in English with Slovene surtitles.