First, I want to thank all of you out there who submitted your suggestions for what shows I should see in New York over the weekend. As you may know, I went down to see Hair in Central Park, and had a few extra show slots. On Friday night, I wound up seeing Gypsy again, and then on Saturday afternoon I took in my first professional production of The Fantasticks. I'll be posting my reviews of all three shows over the next few days. (In short: loved it, loved it, loved it. When does that ever happen?)
So, anyway, on with the news. The producers of the upcoming Broadway revival of West Side Story have announced that the show will begin previews at a TBD Nederlander theater (perhaps the Nederlander Theater itself?) on February 23rd towards a March 19th opening date. The show will play an out-of-town tryout at the National Theater in Washington, DC in December and January.
Librettist Arthur Laurents will direct, and has previously made much hay about the fact that he intends to give the show more verisimilitude, including making the kids more realistically bloodthirsty, and the central lovers Maria and Tony more sexually driven. He also plans to weave Spanish throughout more of the dialog and lyrics. (Presumably with lyricist Stephen Sondheim's blessing?)
No word yet on any casting, nor on when the tickets will go on sale. I'll keep you posted. I know I'm ready to see a first-rate revival of this landmark show. And after seeing Laurents' Gypsy again last Friday, I'm confident that, despite his age (he just turned 91), he's certainly up for the job. But theater has a weird, ineffable sort of alchemy, and there are never any guarantees. Let's hope Laurents and his creative staff can work some magic on this highly anticipated production.