A Dream Team, a Dream Musical: 'West Side Story' The musical West Side Story premiered on Broadway 50 years ago today. While it is now an indelible part of American culture, with well-loved versions of film and music, the show's success was not assured back in 1957. It was the work of director and choreographer Jerome Robbins, playwright Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and composer Leonard Bernstein.
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A Dream Team, a Dream Musical: 'West Side Story'

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A Dream Team, a Dream Musical: 'West Side Story'

A Dream Team, a Dream Musical: 'West Side Story'

A Dream Team, a Dream Musical: 'West Side Story'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/14741275/14738132" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Alfred Eisenstadt, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Fifty years ago tonight, the ground-breaking musical West Side Story premiered on Broadway. While it has become an indelible part of American culture, with a film adaptation and well-loved songs, the show's success was anything but assured back in 1957.

Drawing on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the gritty musical was the work of director and choreographer Jerome Robbins, playwright Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and composer Leonard Bernstein.