On March 2, Disney+ and HBO Max will premiere Steven Spielberg’s critically praised adaptation of West Side Story. Tony and Maria’s love story will be brought to life on the tiny screen, where audiences can watch it evolve at their own pace.
A day after West Side Story received seven Oscar nominations, notably Best Director, Best Picture, and Ariana DeBose has been named Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in the film.
Rachel Zegler, and Ansel Elgort feature as Maria, and Tony, two teenage star-crossed couples in this New York City rendition of Romeo and Juliet, in Spielberg’s West Side Story. Mike Faist, David Alvarez, Corey Stoll, Brian D’arcy James, Rita Moreno, and Josh Andrés Rivera round out the ensemble cast as supporting actors.
When this new picture was released, many people doubted it could stay true to the 1961 version, but it has won over both reviewers and Academy members. Tony and Maria’s voyage is enriched by the return of EGOT-winner Moreno, who claimed an Oscar for her role as Anita in the first film, now returning as Valentina.
What is West Side Story?
Leonard Bernstein composed the music for West Side Story; Arthur Laurents wrote the book, Jerome Robbins planned the show, and Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics.
The narrative is set in mid-1950s New York City’s Upper West Side, then a mixed, blue-collar neighborhood, and is based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy Of Romeo And Juliet. In the musical, two young street gangs of various ethnicities, the Jets as well as the Sharks, face out against one another. The Jets, a white gang, insult the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang.
Riff’s closest buddy, Tony, finds love in Maria, the sister of Sharks’ captain Bernardo, a former Jets member and also the best friend of Riff. The musical theatre underwent a sea change with this movie’s gloomy tone, complex score, lengthy dance numbers, and emphasis on social issues.
Sondheim made his Broadway debut in the classic 1957 production, which was helmed as well as choreographed by Robbins. Before going on tour, it was seen by 732 people. It was shortlisted for six Tony Awards in 1958, namely Best Musical, and took home two of those accolades.
In addition to the West End production, there have been several revivals and overseas performances. Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood featured in a 1961 musical film adaption co-directed by Robert Wise and Robbins.
There were eleven Academy Award nominations and 10 awards, namely Best Picture. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler appeared in Steven Spielberg’s adaption from 2021. Additionally, the film was nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture.