West Side Story + Poetry

West Side Story + Poetry

classified PG

Musicals, Rewritten?


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2020

Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer
145 mins, 1961, USA
Primary language:

An electrifying musical, with an astonishing score written by masterful composer Leonard Bernstein and lyrics written by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, Westside Story sets the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in 1950s New York City.

Set against the seething background of rival and bitterly hating young American gang (the Jets) and Puerto Rican gang (the Sharks), we move from fair Verona to the upper West Side of Manhattan where the rival gangs have arranged to fight. Riff (Russ Tamblyn), the leader of the Jets, tries to enlist the help of the co-founder of the gang, Tony (Richard Beymer), but Tony has quit the gang to work an honest job and goes along only to keep the peace. When the gangs meet, Tony falls in love with Maria (Natalie Wood), sister of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, and both are torn apart by their warring families.

With one of the most famous musical soundtracks in history and astonishing dance numbers, it’s a film that demands to be seen up on the big screen - a story of a changing city and how love can overcome division - a true cinematic masterpiece.

Join us for a spoken word introduction inspired by the film with Malaika Kegode and Asmaa Jama.