Could it be? Yes, it could. Something’s coming, something good, If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is, But it is/ Gonna be great!
-from Something’s Coming, West Side Story
Those are the now immortal lyrics Tony sings only hours before meeting Maria, his savoir and his downfall. And while Tony may not have know what was coming, I sure do! It’s the tour of the smash hit Broadway revival West Side Story and it’s coming January 4-6th for 5 shows thanks to our friends at Broadway Theatre League!
AND because we’re in the holiday spirit here at Our Valley Events (and we LOVE theatre), we’re giving away an extra special West Side Story prize pack! Enter at the end of the post.
I know more than a little bit about West Side Story, having performed in the show back in my days as an actor. (for those who are curious I was the tomboy “Anybodys”) So what is all the fuss about? How has this show lasted for more than 50 years? Easy: a timeless story, revolutionary dancing, and amazing songs.
The story takes place in New York City in the mid-1950s and centers around two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. From these teenage street gangs the star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria emerge and struggle to rise above the hatred and intolerance that surrounds them.
West Side Story is written by three theatrical luminaries: two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents (book) and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) in his Broadway debut.
The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as:
- Something’s Coming. Watch a performance of the song here.
- Tonight. Watch a performance of the song here.
- America. Watch a performance of the song here.
- I Feel Pretty. Watch a performance of the song here.
- Somewhere. Watch a performance of the song here.
- Gee, Officer Krupke. Watch a performance of the song here.
- Dance at the Gym. Watch a performance of the song here.
- The Prologue. Watch a performance of the song here.
Dance, Dance Revolution
West Side Story’s 1957 Broadway premiere revolutionized theater. Looking at the show today, it is extremely difficult to understand the extreme leap of faith the creators of this show took in producing it. One of the best explanations I’ve heard comes from Arthur Laurents who wrote the musical’s book.
“I think what’s different [about West Side Story] is it’s the first musical that showed anything can be a musical. We have death, we have murder, we have attempted rape, we have bigotry. None of that was in musicals. But they’re in this musical because that’s what the story is,” Laurents said.
But what exactly did the musical do that was so revolutionary? What made it different?
For starters, the start of the show. West Side Story changed the way musicals opened with its thrilling prologue. This opening sequence started the show off with a dance, not the typical song or book scene.
But this was no ordinary dancing; it featured no lavish, showy production numbers designed to get the audience into an upbeat mood. Instead it featured two rival gangs conveying their hatred toward one another through movement. To this day this number remains one of the most impressive, expressive starts to any musical.
West Side Story opens the BTL’s 2012-13 season and to kick off the season in style they’re starting a new series of events. BTL is partnering with Amendment XXI to offer a special event before the Friday and Saturday night shows. Final details are still in the works, but I can tell you that there will be trolley rides involved. And that these events will be offered for other BTL shows. Stay tuned for more info.
Dates and Times:
Friday, January 4, 8:00 pm
Saturday, January 5, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday, January 6, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Location: Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, VBC
Cost: Prices start at $17 for students and $37 for adults
Tickets: To buy online visit ticketmaster. To buy by phone call Broadway Theatre League at 256-518-6155 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. To buy in person, visit any Ticketmaster outlet or at the VBC Box Office.
About that giveaway I spoke of earlier. Here’s the details: we’re giving away a pair of tickets to any performance of West Side Story (find the complete West Side Story show schedule here) AND a gift card for two free drinks or concessions to use at the VBC before the show. If you haven’t checked out their swanky new set up, you’re missing out. It’s awesome!
Larkin Grant is the Chief Strategist and co-owner of Our Valley Events and Move Digital. At Move, Larkin focuses on strategic ways to help businesses large and small maximize their digital marketing efforts. Since moving to Huntsville, Larkin has enjoyed working with Junior League of Huntsville, Huntsville Young Professionals, Leadership Huntsville/Madison County’s Connect Program, and many more. In her spare time, she enjoys keeping her very adorable yet crazy puppies in line, acting in local theatre productions, and volunteering.