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SHOW TUNES S4 EP 17 - WEST SIDE STORY (1957)

Original Playbill for the 1957 premiere of "West Side Story" at the Winter Garden, NYC
Original Playbill for the 1957 premiere of "West Side Story" at the Winter Garden, NYC

We drop the needle on the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim masterpiece.

The Original Cast Album of "West Side Story" was recorded a mere three days after the show opened on Broadway in 1957!

This week, we'll hear the "Romeo and Juliet"-based masterpiece by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

The show was a revelation to audiences, as it featured current social issues, popular music and dance in a way that hadn't yet been seen on the Broadway stage.

Normally we'd give you a list of the show's "biggest hits" and "honorable mentions" - but how can we choose? The whole thing's brilliant.

You may raise your eyebrows at a few of Sondheim's lyrics, especially some of the stereotyping in "America" or when you note the rough-edged irony in "Gee, Officer Krupke."

"West Side Story," though, is a cautionary tale about "othering" and stereotyping.

Here's hoping the teenagers in our story grow up to know better.

  1. Overture
  2. Jet Song
  3. Something's Coming
  4. Dance at the Gym
  5. Maria
  6. Tonight
  7. America
  8. Cool
  9. One Hand, One Heart
  10. Tonight (Chorus and Quintet)
  11. The Rumble
  12. I Feel Pretty
  13. Somewhere (ballet)
  14. Gee, Officer Krupke
  15. A Boy Like That/I Have a Love
  16. Finale

Kate Botello is the morning host on Classical IPR. She also hosts and produces Kids Commute and Show Tunes with Kate Botello.