New York Daily News, 9/57
1957. Reprinted by permission of Daily News L.P.
John Chapman's review of West Side Story appeared in the New York Daily News on September 27, 1997, under the headline: "West Side Story a Splendid and Super-Modern Musical Drama."
"The American theatre took a venturesome forward step when the firm of Griffith & Prince presented West Side Story at the Winter Garden last evening.
"This is a bold new kind of musical theatre--a juke-box Manhattan opera. It is, to me, extraordinarily exciting. In it, the various fine skills of show business are put to new tests, and as a result a different kind of musical has emerged.
"The story is, roughly, Shakespeare's recounting of the love and deaths of Romeo and Juliet. But the setting is today's Manhattan, and the manner of telling the story is a provocative and artful blend of music, dance and plot--and the music and the dancing are superb.
".The music of West Side Story is by Leonard Bernstein, and it is superb--and splendidly played by an orchestra directed by Max Goberman. In it, there is the drive, the bounce, the restlessness and the sweetness of our town.
It takes up the American musical idiom where it was left when George Gershwin died. It is fascinatingly tricky and melodically beguiling, and it marks the progression of an admirable composer.."