Photo Coverage: Recording Academy Honors 'West Side Story'
Last night Wednesday, September 26, was the actual 50th anniversary of the opening of the original Broadway production of West Side Story in 1957. The creators of West Side Story – Leonard Bernstein (composer), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Arthur Laurent (book) and Jerome Robbins (director/choreographer) – were honored last night by The Recording Academy-New York Chapter, along with Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys and others. The event was held at Cipriani's Wall Street.
On hand from West Side Story were the original stars – two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera (Anita) and Carol Lawrence (Maria) who both talked about their experiences in the ground-breaking musical, and Michael Callan.
Chita and Carol presented the Award to Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein's children – Alexander Bernstein and Jamie Bernstein Thomas. Christopher D'Amboise accepted on behalf of Jerome Robbins. Alan Johnson recreated Robbins' choreography for a powerful performance tribute of "Cool" from West Side Story – which received a standing ovation from the music biz crowd. Among those performing were Melissa Etheridge, Oleta Adams, Donnie McClurkin.
Photos © RD / Eckstein / Retna Digital
Chita Rivera (original Anita in West Side Story)
Neil Portnow and Alicia Keys
Antonia "LA" Reid
West Side Story Creators, l-r: Jamie Bernstein Thomas, Stephen Sondheim, Carol Lawrence, Chita Rivera, Michael Callan, Alexander Bernstein. Photo by Merle Frimark
Chita Rivera and her daughter Lisa Mordente meet honoree Jon Bon Jovi. Photo by Merle Frimark