Teatru Astra is proud to present Leonard Bernstein's masterpiece West Side Story, the greatest story of two young lovers caught in between the prejudice and warring of New York street gangs in one of the most powerful musicals of all time.
Arthur Laurent's libretto remains as poignant and timely as ever. Bernstein's score and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are widely regarded as among the best that have ever reached Boradway's stage. All in all, it is widely regarded as one of musical theatre's finest accomplishments. The Broadway musical is a commercial art form that often aspires to, and occasionally attains, high art. It is also a collaborative medium in which the librettist, composer, lyricist, director, and choreographer determine the details of the plot and actions, along with the tone of the production, and the way a story will be told through the language of movement and music. In the case of West Side Story, this is attained through the most demanding music and choreography, a rare case of musical theatre that is often sung by the most accomplished opera singers such as Jose Carreras and Kiri te Kanawa. Is that not enough to put it on par with the highest of art forms?
At the Library of Congress's Leonard Bernstein Collection, one finds Bernstein's annotated copy of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a 1940 volume jotted with several notes for adapting the classic play into a contemporary musical, with several early inspirations some of which made it to the 1957 premiere, and others that were altered or completely discarded.
Considering the degree of extraordinary level involved, it is not at all surprising that such a remarkable and landmark show has made it to several awards, while several recordings and film adaptations were created, even taking into account that 66 years after its original premiere, it is still a startling and original work of art.
Teatru Astra will be presenting its much longed for production of West Side Story, in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, Malta Arts Council, and MeDirect Bank, on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 24th March 2024. Tickets can be obtained from teatruastra.org.mt.