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Photo Throwback: Stephen Sondheim at WEST SIDE STORY in 1980

Take a look back at BroadwayWorld's archives as we bring you this throwback photo of Stephen Sondheim at opening night of West Side Story in 1980!

WEST SIDE STORY was written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernsteinand lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein's score for the musical includes "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere", "Tonight", "Jet Song", "I Feel Pretty", "A Boy Like That", "One Hand, One Heart", "Gee, Officer Krupke", and "Cool".

The original 1957 Broadway production, conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Sondheim's Broadway debut. It ran for 732 performances before going on tour. The production was nominated for six TONY AWARDS including Best Musical in 1957, but the award for Best Musical went to Meredith Willson's The Music Man. Robbins won the Tony Award for his choreography and Oliver Smith won for his scenic designs. The show had an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals and international productions.

A Broadway revival opened at the Minskoff Theatre on February 14, 1980 and closed on November 30, 1980, after 333 performances. It was directed and choreographed by Robbins, with the book scenes co-directed by Gerald Freedman; produced by Gladys Nederlander and Tom Abbott and Lee Becker Theodore assisted the choreography reproduction. The original scenic, lighting, and costume designs were used. It starred Ken Marshall as Tony, Josie de Guzman as Maria and Debbie Allen as Anita. Both de Guzman and Allen received Tony Award nominations as Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and the musical was nominated as Best Reproduction (Play or Musical). Allen won the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. Other notable cast members in the revival included Brent Barrett as Diesel, Harolyn Blackwell as Francisca, Stephen Bogardus as Mouth Piece and Reed Jones as Big Deal.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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Photo Throwback: Stephen Sondheim at WEST SIDE STORY in 1980
Stephen Sondheim attends the Opening of West Side Story on February 14, 1980 at the Minskoff Theater in New York City.

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