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West Side Story

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

West Side Story
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West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical’s plot is based on William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.

Set in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The members of the Sharks are first-generation Americans from Puerto Rico taunted by the Jets, a white  group who consider themselves the true Americans. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein’s score for the musical has become extremely popular; it includes « Something’s Coming », « Maria« , « America« , « Somewhere« , « Tonight« , « Jet Song », « I Feel Pretty », « One Hand, One Heart », and « Cool« .

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