“There was a place for us” last night as we watched the tear-jerker West Side Story on the big screen. It was magical as we listened to the live performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing the score of West Side Story at Ravinia on July 17, 2014. The Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States and it is located in Highland Park Illinois.
West Side Story is a 1961 movie directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins; an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical. The story is set in the summer of 1957 in the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the Upper West Side of in New York City. The film was released on October 18, 1961, and “became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical.” Wikipedia
You could hear a pin drop as The Sharks and The Jets captivated the audience at the Ravinia Festival last night. West Side Story played on the big screen in the Pavilion and on the lawn and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) played the score of the iconic film. The legendary music is by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It was perfectly executed last night by the CSO. The iconic story of socially and ethnically mismatched soul mates was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.
West Side Story stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris. The film portrays the rivalry between the Jets, led by Riff, and a the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang of immigrants led by Bernardo.
Who doesn’t love listening to Bernardo’s girlfriend, Anita del Carmen (Rita Moreno) arguing with Bernardo Nunez (George Chakiris) the overprotective brother of Maria (Natalie Wood); as they belt out the advantages of Puerto Rico and the United States in I want to live in “America“.
Every women is awe-struck by Tony (Richard Beymer). We dream of our own version of Tony Wyzek, co-founder of the Jets who works in Doc’s Drug Store; when he passionately sings “Tonight“.
- Maria claims “Te adoro Anton” on her fire escape and the whole audience swoons. Why does Hollywood create these damn pipe dreams anyway? What about the bridal shop scene when Tony and Maria fantasize about the wedding. My heart be still!!! By the end of the movie, you need a box of Kleenex. Thank you William Shakespeare.
Here are the lyrics:
- Only you, you’re the only thing I’ll see forever,
- In my eyes, in my words and in everything I do,
- Nothing else but you
- And there’s nothing for me but Maria,
- every sight that I see is Maria.
- Tony, Tony…
- Always you, every thought I’ll ever know,
- Everywhere I go, you’ll be.
- All the world is only you and me!
- Tonight, tonight,
- It all began tonight,
- I saw you and the world went away.
- Tonight, tonight,
- There’s only you tonight,
- What you are, what you do, what you say.
- Today, all day I had the feeling
- A miracle would happen —
- I know now I was right.
- For here you are
- And what was just a world is a star
MARIA’S FATHER’S VOICE
- (from inside)
- I cannot stay. Go quickly!
- I’m not afraid,
- (kissing her)
- Good night.
- Buenas noches.
- I love you.
- Yes, yes. Hurry
- Wait! When will I see you?
- I work at the bridal shop across the street.
- Madam Lucia’s
- I’ll come there.
- At closing time. Six o’clock.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- (calling down)
- When you come, use the back door.
- What does Tony stand for?
- Te adoro, Anton.
- Te adoro, Maria.
- Good night, good night,
- Sleep well and when you dream,
- Dream of me
- Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
- © 1956, 1957 Amberson Holdings LLC and Stephen Sondheim. Copyright renewed.
- Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company LLC, Publisher.
- Buy the
- vocal selections online! price: $4.25
| Click here to purchase the West Side Story Vocal Score
Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company / Boosey & Hawkes
Here are some Wikipedia Factoids:
|Directed by||Robert Wise Jerome Robbins|
|Produced by||Robert Wise|
|Screenplay by||Ernest Lehman|
|Based on||West Side Story by Jerome Robbins Arthur Laurents Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (uncredited)|
|Music by||Leonard Bernstein|
|Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp, A.S.C.|
|Edited by||Thomas Stanford|
|Production company||The Mirisch Corporation Seven Arts Productions Beta Productions|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||152 minutes|
|Language||English, some Spanish|
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), is one of the five legendary American orchestras. It was founded in 1891, and has a home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. The musical director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010 and has extended his contract with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through 2020.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero loves Ravinia and writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com