‘West Side Story’ to return to Australia in 2020

Opera Australia and GWB Entertainment have announced that the acclaimed BB Group production of West Side Story will return to Australia in 2020.

A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet; this tragic love story tells the tale of two young people whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle. The ‘Jets’, sons of previous immigrants to America, battle the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the ‘Sharks’, for domination of the streets.

BB Group CEO and Producer Ralf Kokemuller shared his excitement about the production.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this production back to Australia in 2020. The dramatic story, spectacular dancing and unforgettable songs have captivated theatregoers for decades and audiences in Perth are going to love it!”

When the original West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957, musical theatre changed forever as the most complex and challenging unity of music, dance, book and lyrics was realised in a way which has been rarely matched since.

Producers says the musical is the product of the genius of its four creators, a remarkable collaboration between Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, who produced a masterpiece whose artistic quality remains unquestioned to this day.

Now former pupil of Jerome Robbins, Joey McKneely’s vibrant new stage production returns to Australia after wild acclaim world-wide. Since the first world tour in 2003, there have been more than 1500 performances of McKneely’s award-winning production of West Side Story. Joey McKneely is a two-time Tony Award nominated choreographer whose Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Café, The Life, Twelfth Night, The Wild Party and The Boy From Oz.

GWB Entertainment’s Torben Brookman said the musical was a once in a lifetime experience.

“Musicals like West Side Story only come along once in a lifetime. This piece transformed musical theatre around the world and is as relevant today as it was when first staged. It is a privilege to be working with BB Group, Opera Australia and Crown Theatre to bring this production to Perth.” Brookman said.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini reiterated what a wonderful opportunity this will be for Perth audiences.

West Side Story is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever written, which is evidenced by sold out performances worldwide. Bringing the production back to Australia in 2020 to continue the success of the 2019 international tour was an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up,” said Terracini.

The musical first opened on Broadway in 1957 and has been restaged many times since. In 1961 it was transformed into a feature film starring Natalie Wood.

The return of this production comes as a brand new version of the musical opens on Broadway, and film lovers await a new screen version of the musical created by Steven Spielberg.

West Side Story will be at the Crown Theatre from 3rd July 2020 for a limited season, tickets are on sale now. 

OIP Staff


 

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