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)


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

During previews
Overrated, Great singing, Fluffy, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if If you want some great singing and dancing.

Don't see it if If you are a WSS purist this one you can miss. Casting and reconstructing of this legendary musical was not a great idea.

During previews
Ambitious, Fast, Relevant, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if New choreo is beautiful. Young cast shines. Projections are effective... but too much with scenes filmed behind the screen.

Don't see it if You are a West Side purist. You sit in rear mezzanine. Worst house on Broadway. Horrible sight lines. Get good seats.

Also I was surprisingly pleased with the fresh take. Officer Krupke became ... Read more Read less

During previews
Trimmed and tailored, Relevant, Refreshing, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Conceptualised experimentation of Romeo/Jules tragedy held so dear. Sharp focus on hot buttons for Woke 2020. That's how we found it.

Don't see it if They did WHAT? Compressed, trimmed, and tailored to a breakneck frenzy. Like plastic straws, we'll get over it, too. Distractions.(105 min.)

Also For all the PC declaration, they're some very un-woke offstage choices... Read more Read less

During previews
1 hour 45 mins goes fast, Great dancing, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You like dancing or like the movie. The characters are darker.

Don't see it if you want "I feel Pretty" is out of the show. Rape scene was added to this show.

Also The background projections were good for some parts. But much of the t... Read more Read less

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing, Video overkill, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if same great story; great orchestra & beautiful music; good use of video at Doc's.

Don't see it if acting and singing is inconsistent, not all performers are created equal; distracting overuse of video when dancers are performing.

Also I much prefer the Jerome Robbin's choreography. The new choreography i... Read more Read less

During previews
No humor. no charm. good singing and good dancing.

See it if You appreciate the great score and some good voices.

Don't see it if Revere the original play and it's dancing and choreography.

Also No character development in any of the characters.Hard to figure out w... Read more Read less

During previews
Gritty, Video-centric, Intense, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if you are open to a radically different interpretation of a classic musical or if you are a van Hove fan.

Don't see it if you don't like van Hove's video-centric style or are devoted to earlier versions of the show.

During previews
I tried hard not to look at the projections

See it if Impossible to spoil the Bernstein/Sondheim score. But try by dwarfing actors and dancers with 20 foot live projections of themselves

Don't see it if you are a West Side Story purist. Choreography has charm and vigor, but it's not Robbins. Orchestra is fine and some good singing, overmiked

Also Why on earth would you dwarf a Broadway dance troupe led by a former N... Read more Read less

During previews
Great story, Great music, Indulgent, Edgy, Disappointing

See it if A new take on a classic. It's nothing like what you've seen before. I saw the u/s for Maria and Tony, and she was great. He was meh.

Don't see it if Taking out "I Feel Pretty" and the Ballet at the Gym? von Hove likes to put his own stamp on pieces. This one was perfect before.

During previews
Resonant, Romantic, Masterful, Quirky, Edgy

See it if you can appreciate a successful update of the original using contemporary media and spartan staging. Great voices and great dancing

Don't see it if you are a traditionalist that doesn't like greatness tampered with

During previews
Romantic, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if If you have never seen it live, if you like multimedia; it added detail & at times allowed you to see “behind walls”.

Don't see it if If you don’t like multimedia; it was distracting, at times it competed with the live action. If you love “I Feel Pretty”, it was cut.

During previews
Must-see, Energetic, Riveting and fast-paced, Innovatively-fresh—and will be divisive, Plays it cool, real cool

See it if you like the latest re-envisioning of Oklahoma!: West Side Story has a similar grittier, darker, immersive feel with risk-taking staging.

Don't see it if not a fan of updated and edited/trimmed classic musicals, dislike Ivo van Hove’s avant-garde tendencies, or looking for a brand-new musical

Also It’s not an Ivo van Hove show unless someone ends up barefoot and mess... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Dizzying

See it if want a very re-imagined version of a classic. very 2020 in presentation, casting, choreography (done well), and even orchestrations.

Don't see it if like a traditional musical done traditionally. direction is heavy handed and am getting annoyed of having to watch scenes on video.

During previews
Disappointing, Confusing, Great singing, Delightful

See it if You are ready to see a reimagined WSS. Great job by the leads and enjoyable choreography.

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in considering an update to the classic and wonderful original staging. You want to see live action and not video.

Also Although I am a WSS purist, I enjoyed this rendition to some extent. T... Read more Read less

During previews
Great staging, Great singing, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Van Hove's take on this classic utilizes a hand held camera and the rear wall as a screen. Great dancing and singing. Large, energetic cast.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Van Hove's works. The musical was more compact, as the running time is 105 minutes. I missed "I Feel Pretty".

During previews
Expectedly superb score & book, Distracting video projections, Confusingly staged, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you love WSS & want to see it in any form. Strong performances by Powell & Pimentel as Tony & Maria. Deservedly classic score & book.

Don't see it if you want strong production of WSS: this is oddly & confusingly staged. Continuous video projections distracting - leaving stage often empty.

Also Sadly disappointing production. Problem is not reinvention, but simply... Read more Read less

During previews
Okay choreography, Rearranged song order--whaaat?, Overpowering staging, Dizzying, Great singing

See it if you've never seen the show and would enjoy a multi-media, speeded up telling of the story with a strong Tony, subbing for the injured lead.

Don't see it if You'd like to see breath-taking Jerome Robbins choreography. These dancers could have done it.

Also Talk about overkill. What's with the monumental projections and pushin... Read more Read less

During previews
Resonant, Relevant, Profound, Intense, Edgy

See it if you want a reinvention of WSS that brings the show firmly into the 21st century; you aren't afraid of risk taking, reinventive theatre

Don't see it if you don't like large scale use of projections; you are a traditionalist; you think that WSS *isn't* about gun violence and police brutality

Also First preview, so some technical things to work out. This show is, lik... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Dizzying, Intense, Edgy

See it if You are ready for a darker, more harsh version of WSS. Leads have great voices, dancing was exciting, but projections often distracting.

Don't see it if You loved the movie & an earlier Broadway version.

During previews
Romantic, Ambitious, Dizzying, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to see what West Side Story would look like if it took place in 2020. Great chemistry between Tony and Maria. Superb dancing!

Don't see it if If you do not want to watch an imax movie screen as opposed to the stage for long stretches. Too much happens off stage. There is no set.

During previews
Disappointing, Left me cold, Poorly cast, Distracting video, Misconceived

See it if You want to see a cold, distancing, poorly cast, distracting take on one of our finest classic musicals.

Don't see it if You you want to feel genuine emotion, which is not that difficult to do with WSS.

Also I love reenviosings of classic musicals (such as with sexy “Oklahoma”)... Read more Read less

During previews
Uneven sometimes brilliant sometimes misses the mark

See it if Ivo von Hove treatment hits the mark in the dance at the gym and America but the brilliant Robbins choreography is missed elsewhere

Don't see it if Like all other von Hove treatments the projections sometimes overpower what is going onstage and the Robbins choreography is missed

During previews
Great singing, Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you are new to West Side Story, or want to see a new version of a classic, have youth you'd like to introduce to Broadway, are curious.

Don't see it if If you are a fan of the classic version, don't like mixed media on stage, you NEED "I feel pretty" in the production.

Also I will say it was good, just didn't find it to be great. Maybe because... Read more Read less

During previews
Resonant, Intense, Dizzying, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you can handle your classics being modernized both in staging and scope/view

Don't see it if you are expecting to see a traditional production or are not a fan of live video

During previews
Rousing, Grim, Dazzling, Massive, Anachronistic

See it if you have an open mind. Are a patron of theatre with an ‘re.’

Don't see it if you are a prude, stubborn, and pessimistic traditionalist.

Also police brutality and 21st century tribalism are the star here and it w... 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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