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Bronx Talk with Gary Axelbank talks to musician Bobby Sanabria about West Side Story and its music.
petzipellepingo: (wss 1957 tony maria by teragramm)
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West Side Stories: The Making of a Classic, BBC Two
Excellent footage and interviews not always put to good use

by David Benedict

The last time BBC TV headed over to West Side Story, it landed itself with a contradiction. Christopher Swann’s 1985 fly-on-the-wall documentary The Making of West Side Story – about Leonard Bernstein recording his celebrated score with a cast of opera singers – bagged the prestigious Prix Italia, but the actual material was a wildly unidiomatic misfire. The reverse was true of BBC2’s Boxing Day special West Side Stories – The Making Of A Classic. The material – archive and newly filmed – that producer/director Ursula Macfarlane had acquired was often first-rate: what she did with it was somewhat frustrating.
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West Side Stories - The Making of a Classic

West Side Story is one of the best loved musicals of all time. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, its timeless story and exhilarating dance and music continue to excite audiences around the globe. Songs such as Maria, Somewhere, Tonight, and America have all become some of the biggest hits in show business.

Now, as the world prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story in 2017, dancer Bruno Tonioli and broadcaster Suzy Klein go in search of the true stories behind the inception of this classic show.

With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and specially cast singers we re-live some of the wonderful music, and in the company of Suzy and Bruno we discover how West Side Story placed the 1950s phenomena of racial tension and teenage gangs centre stage to create a hit that changed musical theatre forever.

The opening night

The original Maria relives the opening night of West Side Story. Set to the 'Tonight' quintet.


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