The original Broadway production in 1957 was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. He struck on the idea of keeping the dancers playing the Jets and the Sharks apart throughout rehearsals so that they began to develop their own gang mentalities. I remember friends being involved with an amateur production in Sussex several years ago now where the same divisions happened naturally during the rehearsal process.
The West Side Story film was based on the stage show and has a stellar cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten, including the Best Picture. Famous songs include I Feel Pretty, America, Somewhere, A Boy Like That and the funny Officer Krupke.
Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Sat 22nd Mar, 19:30.
Tickets £12, concessions £10, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Box Office.