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Tony Kushner 'Exploring the Story' with New WEST SIDE STORY Script

In a recent interview with Daily Beast, playwright Tony Kushner chats about one of his current projects- WEST SIDE STORY. Kushner is rewriting the book for the classic movie for director Steven Spielberg. Don't expect any changes to the score, however. "I am not touching in any way the greatest score of a musical ever written," says Kushner. "I love the [1961] film. Who doesn't? I am not changing the story, the setting, the period. It is still the Upper West Side in the late 1950s, but I'm exploring the story."

He continues: "I'm interested that we see love at first sight, as opposed to lust as it first sight. By the time they're singing 'Maria' and 'Tonight' things are at a much deeper plane than just two horny kids."

Click here to read the full interview.

The 1961 musical drama film WEST SIDE STORY was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris.

Tony Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; the musical Caroline, or Change and the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, both with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundib√°r by Hans Krasa.

He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and for Steven Spielberg's Munich and Lincoln. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; THE ART OF Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon.

Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, among other honors. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.


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