The show previously sold out in cities around the world, including Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid, and Beijing. This production was last seen in the UK in 2008/9 when it also sold out for a season at Sadler’s Wells and played to capacity houses throughout a year long UK tour.
West Side Story changed the course of musical theatre when it opened on Broadway in 1957 and it still remains one of the most successful stage shows of all time. The 1961 film version won ten Academy Awards. Based on Romeo and Juliet, the show is set on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and explores the rivalry between two teenage gangs; one white, the other Puerto Rican. When Tony falls in love with Maria, the sister of the rival gang’s leader, the feud takes on a new dimension, and as their love blossoms so begins a fatal journey overshadowed by violence and hatred. The score includes the unforgettable songs "Maria", "Tonight", "Somewhere", "America" and "I Feel Pretty".
West Side Story originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, has a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein with Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
This production is directed and choreographed afresh by Joey McKneely - former assistant to Jerome Robbins. Joey has worked extensively on Broadway where his choreography credits include Smokey Joe’s Café (Tony Award nomination) and The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman. His other credits include Hal Prince’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind and Nicholas Hytner’s production of Twelfth Night.
West Side Story is at the Liverpool Empire from 24 - 28 September and Manchester's Palace Theatre from 10 December - 4 January.