OUPblog Marks West Side Story's 55th Anniversary
Yesterday was the 55th anniversary of West Side Story's opening on Broadway.
A racially-charged retelling of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is set in the “blighted” West Side of 1950s Manhattan, the potent themes of star-crossed love and gang rivalry successfully translated from 16th century Italy to 20th century New York by book-writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Steven Sondheim. The premiere was timely. One day before the curtain rose on West Side Story, America had witnessed a key event in its Civil Rights Movement with the forced integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.