West Side Story BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Jan Versweyveld
  • NY TIMES

  • DEADLINE

  • VARIETY

  • HR

  • NY POST

Opening Night:
February 20, 2020
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Broadway Theatre / 1681 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

When four theatrical giants — Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim — created West Side Story, it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece.
Now, three of the most daring theater-makers of our time — director Ivo van Hove (A View From the Bridge and The Crucible), choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, and designer and frequent Van Hove collaborator Jan Versweyveld — offer a radical, thrilling new interpretation of this iconic work, with extraordinary dancing, breathtaking vision, and 33 young, brilliantly gifted performers all making their Broadway debuts.

BUY TICKETS BUY GROUP TICKETS
  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF West Side Story

    ‘West Side Story’ Review: Sharks vs. Jets vs. Video

    Ben Brantley

    February 20, 2020: No one should be surprised to hear that Ivo van Hove has blown up “West Side Story.” This industrious, experimental director is celebrated, after all, for taking an artistic detonator to sacred classics — by authors like Shakespeare, Molière, Miller and O’Neill — and letting the pieces fly. But the blowing up I’m talking about in this curiously unaffecting reimagining of a watershed musical, which opened on Thursday night at the Broadway Theater, is the kind associated with photography, the process by which a picture is enlarged to outsize proportions. This means that most of the performers onstage here have video doppelgängers, projected on the wall behind them, who are many, many times their natural size. As such, those fatally rivalrous street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, have probably never loomed larger. Yet these disembodied Goliaths wind up upstaging their flesh-and-blood selves. As real, human-scale people, those crazy, mixed-up kids from New York’s mean streets have seldom seemed smaller, blurrier or less sure of their purpose — as characters or as performers.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF West Side Story

    ‘West Side Story’ Rumbles Full-Force Into A New Century: Broadway Review

    Greg Evans

    February 20, 2020: One of the breathtaking moments in director Ivo van Hove’s bold, gorgeous multi-media re-imagining of the great New York musical West Side Story comes when those famously brawling street gangs restrain the tale’s star-crossed lovers from kissing. Each side pulls its own, tug-of-war-style, one holding back Tony, the other Maria, and it takes every last Jet and Shark to do the job. They succeed, more or less and just barely. If there’s a fresher, more vivid way to interpret “Tonight,” that classic ballad of hope and anticipation, it likely hasn’t been seen since this 1957 Broadway masterwork debuted all those decades ago. The tableau – at once funny and ominous – is set against a video backdrop depicting a New York street as rainy and full of shadow as any film noir. Theatrical stylization collides bang-on with cinematic realism, and the result is thrilling.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • VARIETY REVIEW OF West Side Story

    ‘West Side Story’: Theater Review

    Marilyn Stasio

    February 20, 2020: Whittled down to one hour and forty-five minutes, “West Side Story” – with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — has grown exceedingly dark and mislaid some of its moving parts in the new Broadway revival from edgy Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. (Can you bear to lose “I Feel Pretty”?) But the plot of this beloved musical remains intact: We are still witnessing the deadly ethnic-fueled violence of two rival street gangs destroy the Romeo-and-Juliet romance of those immortal young lovers, Maria and Tony. With her soaring soprano and beguiling air of innocence, newcomer Shereen Pimentel makes a sweet and touching Maria, who dares to defy the strict social codes of her Puerto Rican family when she falls in love with a local gang-banger. Isaac Powell, blessed with a true voice and a rare quality of gentle masculinity, makes Maria’s teenaged lover, Tony, seem even more vulnerable than she is. Their glorious love songs, “Somewhere” and “Tonight,” would melt the most frigid of hearts.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF West Side Story

    'West Side Story': Theater Review

    David Rooney

    February 20, 2020: It says something about the supreme power of flesh-and-blood people portraying raw human feeling on stage, without the filter of another medium, that the most emotionally devastating and visually stunning moment in the radical new Broadway revival of West Side Story occurs when its extensive video elements are stripped away. That happens in the coup de théâtre at the musical's climax, as a torrential downpour fills the immense darkness of the stage while a shattered young woman cradles her dead lover's body. Like many big-swing experimental bids to reimagine a canonical work, director Ivo van Hove's vigorously youthful take on the 1957 classic comes with losses and gains, but the latter are what you'll remember.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF West Side Story

    ‘West Side Story’ Broadway review: Radical revival is a triumph

    Johnny Oleksinski

    February 20, 2020: It feels pretty . . . different. A galvanizing new revival of “West Side Story” opened Thursday night on Broadway, minus some familiar sights and sounds. Jerome Robbins’ legendary choreography has been Jet-tisoned along with the “Somewhere” ballet, and Maria’s chirpy “I Feel Pretty” was given the ax. There’s no longer an intermission, with the musical now running a breakneck one hour and 45 minutes. Instead, in Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s finger-snapping-free staging, there’s a gigantic video wall behind a mostly spare stage, modern clothes and a ferocity not seen since the musical’s 1957 premiere, when The Post’s Richard Watts Jr. called it the story of “the ugliness and horror of a war to the death between the boys.” With that in mind, van Hove’s visceral take is spot-on for 2020. As long as kids are still being born into a “lousy” world, “West Side Story” shouldn’t be a trip down memory lane — it should be raw and real.

    READ THE REVIEW

BEST REVIEWED SHOWS

    JerseyBoys    Phantom    Motown    Wicked
DOWNLOAD THE APP