An album by Chita Rivera
What is there left to say about this musical, deservedly one of the most famous in the canon? Created by what lyricist Stephen Sondheim described as "a unique concatenation of people" (Leonard Bernstein, Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins), the … see full wiki
The young, vibrant cast was made up mostly of unknown actors, who all went on to make big names for themselves on the stage. The musical launched the career of triple-threat Chita Rivera, as the fiery Anita. Carol Lawrence (SARATOGA, SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING) played Maria whilst the role of Tony was essayed by a young Larry Kert (COMPANY, FOLLIES).
The Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim score is simply gorgeous and includes "Maria", "One Hand One Heart", "Somewhere" and "The Jet Song". Chita Rivera adds her brassy belt to the showstopping "America"; Carol Lawrence's clarion soprano is perfectly showcased in "I Feel Pretty"; Larry Kert is the picture of youthful longing in "Something's Coming". Equally thrilling is the energetic "Quintet", which is a major highlight of the colorful score.
Chita Rivera went on to star in the equally-successful London production, and went on to appear in both the Broadway and London companies of BYE BYE BIRDIE. Other lauded Broadway appearances came in BAJOUR and her Tony-winning roles in THE RINK and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. As of this review's writing, she's winning a whole new generation of fans in the 2003 revival of Maury Yeston's NINE.
WEST SIDE STORY continues to be recognised as one of Broadway's landmark musicals. This new remastered edition of the peerless 1957 production is a must-have in every cast album collection.
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