'West Side Story', Around the World

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Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the first staging of the Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents musical West Side Story. It's been performed globally and translated into languages as diverse as Czech and Korean.

(Soundbite of play "West Side Story")


When the Sharks and the Jets rumble in Japan, this is what it sounds likeā€¦

(Soundbite of play "West Side Story")

LYDEN: This is a Japanese staging of "West Side Story." There have been some 40,000 productions of the musical worldwide over the past 50 years.

"West Side Story" celebrates its golden anniversary on Wednesday. On that day, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED will tell the story behind the music. Today, though, we thought we'd pay tribute by giving you a little run through the show as it sounded far, far away from the west side of New York City. See if you can pick out the languages.

(Soundbite of play "West Side Story")

LYDEN: "West Side Story" as performed in Swedish, Hungarian, German, Czech, Korean, Polish, Italian, and Japanese.

And on Wednesday, "West Side Story's" 50th anniversary, Jeff London will have an appreciation of the musical on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and check your local station listing and npr.org for an hour-long documentary, "A Place for Us: 50 Years of "West Side Story," hosted by my colleague, Scott Simon.

(Soundbite of play "West Side Story")

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