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The movie West Side Story (based on the play of the same title),

is a classic romantic tragedy, in adaptation of  William Shakespeare’s play

Romeo and Juliet.   Instead of feuding families intent of keeping young lovers

apart, as in Romeo and Juliet;  West Side Story, set in New York City

during the late 1950s, pits rival gangs against each other.

The Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang, despise members of the Jets,

another neighbourhood gang of Eastern European immigrant youth.

 

(image from fanpop):

West-Side-Story-fight scene from fanpop movie-west-side-story-6700375-720-480

Jet and Shark gang members in the climatic “rumble”,

which results in mournful outcome

..

 

 

Their intense animosity stems from distrust, suspicion, stereotypical beliefs

and limited knowledge of their respective cultural background;

leading to attitudes of “stick to your own kind”.

In such environment of enmity,  the love which ignites between

Puerto Rican Maria and Polish-American Tony is ill-fated from inception.

Their love, which is pure and true,  adds to further

tensions between the Jets and Sharks –

culminating in an explosive and tragic end.

(image from dailymail.co.uk):

west side story, maria and tony from dailymail article-1144457-03854676000005DC-530_634x739

The ill-fated lovers Maria, played by Natalie Wood and

Tony, played by Richard Beymer

The film West Side Story was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won ten,

including Best Picture.  The music was composed by the great Leonard Bernstein

with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

 

Tonight

duet with Maria and Tony

on the night of their ‘love at first sight’ meeting

Somewhere

the beautiful ballad sang as duet by Maria and Tony

about escaping from the hate that envelopes them and finding

“somewhere” to live together openly and happily together

A Boy Like That

after tragedy strikes

sung as duet by Maria and her close friend Anita,

in which Anita warns Maria that love for Tony can only

lead to more pain and heart ache