Open run | 1h 45m | Midtown W

West Side Story

From 623 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Disappointing, Great singing, Entertaining, Great staging

About the show

The legendary musical returns to Broadway in a new production from visionary, Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove. More…

From the show:

When the original production of West Side Story first premiered at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957, it utterly changed the face of the American musical theater. A career-defining milestone for every single member of its towering creative team — Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Robbins — West Side Story reimagined the most enduring love story ever written as a contemporary musical, complete with form-shattering stagecraft and a score for the ages. Now, more than 60 years later, the legacy of that original production, along with subsequent stagings around the globe and the iconic cinematic adaptation, has cemented  West Side Story’s place as one the most significant cultural achievements of the 20th century. 


Member Reviews (623)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great singing, Entertaining, Great staging
73
Avg Score

38
Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if you are interested in seeing a drastic, overblown reinvention of one of the greatest musicals ever written

Don't see it if you're not a fan of enormous video projections that dwarf the performers; you enjoy subtlety.

9
Confusing, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if …you get a free ticket, but make a reservation for cocktails after intermission.

Don't see it if …you like theatre and the spoken or sung word. “Emperor” van Hove isn’t wearing any clothes.

Also The NYT very appropriately described the use of video as “smothering” ... Read more Read less

3
Disappointing

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre.

Don't see it if You have expectations of a traditional stage production of WSS. This is not it.

Also I was thoroughly disappointed by this production which was nothing mor... Read more Read less

100
Dizzying, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you love incredible choreo (fight & dance), crystalline voices, innovative theatre, & you want to see actors' facial expressions up close!

Don't see it if you don't like adaptations or innovative, experimental technology use on stage. Trigger warning: sexual assault & gang violence.

100
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Must see, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if you're interested in a modern-day Romeo and Juliet-esque romantic tragedy. Great dancing and catchy songs!

Don't see it if you hate romance. The show also includes some violence/fighting scenes, which might be overwhelming for young audiences.

65
Intense, Edgy, Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You love the music of West Side Story and the dancing.

Don't see it if You love the original. The screen in the back was awful. It made me dizzy and distracted from the show. I didn't know where to look.

94
Mesmorizing, Must see, Great staging, Absorbing, Edgy

See it if So far away from the usually WSS styling. Relevant to today, even though the original was set in post war NYC.

Don't see it if If you really love the past interpretations of WSS, don't see this. This is the story with new modern eyes; Loved it.

81
Delightful, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if I enjoyed this play more than I expected. It was a birthday present. The music and dancing was awesome. Really exceeded my expectations.

Don't see it if You don't like musical love stories.

50
Cliched, Banal, Ambitious, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You want to see a new take on an older show. The music was still wonderful and the choreographed ensemble scenes were great!

Don't see it if I didn’t like the choice to rely on cameras and screens rather than let the audience actually see the actors on stage.

58
Insipid, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if The actors give it their all - and I appreciate that

Don't see it if If you want your moneys worth

50
Great singing, Frustrating, Dizzying, Disappointing

See it if you are open minded to the mixed media theater and you're ready to see a modern take on a classis Broadway show.

Don't see it if you value your time and money, since the show feels more like a movie, than a live theater.

Also I so wanted to love this show......and I failed. I rushed out of the t... Read more Read less

79
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great staging, Edgy

See it if You'd like a very modern and timely take on the classic

Don't see it if You are expecting a remake of the movie

72
But misses its mark, Ambitious

See it if You love the music. You want to see some interesting staging.

Don't see it if You're looking for a transcendent experience. You want a truly satisfying update of the show.

100
Ambitious, Great staging, Relevant, Must see, Intense

See it if This West Side Story challenges from the first note. It is an intense 1 hour and 45 minutes. An emotional roller coaster.

Don't see it if You can't live without "I Feel Pretty".

52
Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in an attempt to make WSS more current and relevant and, if you are a fan of this director.

Don't see it if you are a die hard fan of the classic WSS and dislike director "tricks." Director seemed more interested in himself than the piece.

0
Overrated, Banal, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if if you want to be distracted by giant video of the actors instead of watching the actors themselves. No sets, bare stage, big screen.

Don't see it if You like traditional Broadway with built sets and actors, dancers and singers with actual talent and experience.

72
Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if If you are into seeing aggressive new direction, then definitely go. This is not your mother's WSS

Don't see it if If you simply love t he traditional WSS, then you will be disappointed.

1
Rape scene. not okay for under 18.

See it if Over 18/21 and have zero sensitivity to rape/tense suicide related actions/sexual video projection.

Don't see it if You are under 21/18. There is a vivid rape scene. There is SO MUCH pre recorded video that overwhelms the stage. Much of the action is video

Also There is so much wrong. The video is extremely sensual and unnecessari... Read more Read less

86
Relevant, Clever, Edgy

See it if Great choreography and singing. Modern twist on a great classic!

Don't see it if Video can be a bit distracting at times. Some scenes take place in a room built into the rear wall, only viewable on the video screen.

30
Excruciating, Overrated, Disappointing, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if If you like multi-media with a huge movie screen If you like an updated story where you can't tell which actors belong to which gangs.

Don't see it if you like the original production. If you like the original choreography. If you want to hear all the original songs.

76
Updated, Dizzying, Inventive use of sets, Interesting video incorporation, Great singing

See it if You're interested in investigating how video and camera work is being incorporated into modern productions, beyond fourth wall viewing.

Don't see it if You want traditional viewing of actors performing onstage in full view or get distracted or dizzy from incorporation of shaky video footage

40
Dizzying, Excruciating, Edgy

See it if If you would rather see a big screen than actual good acting and directing, this is the show for you

Don't see it if What a ridiculous staging. I absolutely adore Leonard Bernstein's score and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, but this misses the mark by a mile.

During previews
92
Creative, Must see, Great dancing, Great staging, Great singing

See it if A masterful reimagining for today. Orchestrations/lyrics kept intact. Sets/dances are new. What voices! Brilliant and moving.

Don't see it if you don't care about musicals or don't like modernized versions of classics.

Also Pimentel & Powell are revelations! Incredible unique voices with beaut... Read more Read less

During previews
92
Great dancing, Masterful, Entertaining, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if Brilliant revival. Fresh & current. Excellent choreography/dancing. Impressive staging/direction. Incredible Cast! Do not miss it!

Don't see it if You are a purist and don't want to see a fresh and new take on a classic.

Also Tony and Maria have INCREDIBLE chemistry. I feel like you don't see th... Read more Read less

During previews
83
Some moments of pure genius, Relevant, Edgy, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see Ivo Van Hove’s latest deconstruction. This time around with some absolute success , gorgeous moments and stunning staging.

Don't see it if You are a purist. The choreography is different...very different. It’s a whole new look. A whole new feel.

Also I think folks will take away from this show what they want to. You can... Read more Read less


February 20th, 2020
"Sharks vs. Jets vs. Video: Ivo van Hove’s attention-splintering revival of the immortal 1957 musical features new choreography, a ravishing orchestra and smothering visual effects."
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February 20th, 2020
4/5 Stars. "Van Hove's 'West Side Story' functions very differently from any we have seen before. If the result is sometimes murky, it is also frequently revelatory-a major accomplishment in a show whose status as a classic threatens to freeze it in time and relevance."
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February 20th, 2020
"In the New 'West Side Story,' When You’re Onstage You’re Onscreen All the Way"
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February 21st, 2020
"A GRIM TAKE ON 'WEST SIDE STORY': Ivo van Hove’s new interpretation of the iconic musical is an infuriating example of what happens when a powerful style calcifies into shtick."
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