West Side Story is one of the most popular and greatest musicals of modern times and it’s heading back to London in celebration of its 50th anniversary year. The original book was written by Arthur Laurents paired to the fabulous score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the Broadway stage version is thought to have changed the concept of musicals forever and it’s about to happen yet again.

west side story musical book
The original book

The story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the film version set in the fifties having been a massive success back in its day when it hit the silver screen. The show had enjoyed huge success as a Broadway musical and the film version introduced the story to a global audience like never before. With the amazing songs that include Maria, Somewhere, I Feel Pretty and many others, today’s theatre version of the musical has been tagged “a masterpiece and musical landmark” of modern times.

Fans will be able to enjoy the musical when it returns to the stage at Sadler’s Wells this autumn for a renewed and revived production of the original show. The dance sequences along with the amazing stage scenery with Joel McKneely’s vibrant stage production, is bound to get a few toes tapping to the well-known and now famous melodies that made the Broadway show and film such a hit with people all over the world.

The musical boasts Jerome Robbins’s original and brilliant choreography which went down a storm the first time around in 2008. The cast of the show are more than adept at proving their technical brilliance with the world renowned composer Donald Chan leading the way as a live orchestra plays the now iconic Bernstein score.

amazing musical
An amazing musical

An Amazing Musical Gloriously Restored

It’s amazing to think that fifty years after the musicals’ first showing in the West End, this now classic theatre musical still draws in the crowds like never before. The story of Romeo and Juliet is known the world over and having been brought into a fifties setting of gritty urban living, has proved that even today, a classic musical still hits the right spot with discerning London audiences.

A Superb Cast To carry it off

The cast is to say the least, a young and exuberant ensemble with names like Lana Gordon adding to the vibrancy of the show in a superb way. There’s a lot going on in this musical, with pulsating songs and dance themes that really do prove that West Side Story is indeed one of the greatest “theatre musicals of all time”.

As you would expect of a venue such as Sadler’s Wells, the production is out of this world with the theme of West Side Story’s gang violence as well as the racial prejudice really hitting much of what is happening in today’s modern world. This is just one of the reasons the storyline is still as relevant today as it was fifty years ago or even in Shakespeare’s day.


In 2008, the musical received rave reviews not only from the many theatre critics but all the people who bought tickets to see the cleverly put together production of the Broadway show. For years audiences have relished the modern day version of Romeo and Juliet. Starting out as a Broadway show and then hitting the silver screen earning it brilliant critical acclaim, the musical promises to keep London audiences entertained when it arrives at Sadler’s Wells this autumn. However, it might be worthwhile booking tickets early if you don’t want to miss out on what promises to be another brilliant production of West Side Story – the show tends to sell out rather quickly even today.


Image credits: Bueno Book Shop and regionalfoodbank

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