Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Performing Arts

Boston Symphony Orchestra breathes compelling life into 'West Side Story' film

See also

West Side Story musical

Rating:
Star5
Star
Star
Star
Star

It is an arduous task to attempt to breathe new life into a film classic, but that is just what the Boston Symphony Orchestra accomplished with Leonard Bernstein’s 1961 romantic musical tale based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘West Side Story’ on a snow stormy night Saturday, February 15. Despite the harrowing weather, audience members gathered for a startlingly rich, unique experience with a live score from one of the most renowned symphonies in the world. Click here to learn more about Leonard Bernstein’s Oscar-winning film, ‘West Side Story,’ starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn, and recent Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award recipient, Rita Moreno.

David Newman, celebrated music conductor for film, warmed up the orchestra as audience members overheard familiar snippets from upcoming numbers such as ‘Tonight,’ ‘Dance at the Gym’ and ‘The Rumble’. Newman has scored over 100 films, including ‘Heathers,’ ‘Matilda,’ ‘War of the Roses,’ ‘Ice Age,’ ‘Throw Mama from the Train,’ and ‘The Nutty Professor.’

The intense overture, each crisp note from the orchestra, and the sound that thundered in Symphony Hall was nothing that can be relived in front of a television screen or in a movie theatre. It felt like being in the studio with the cast, enhancing their already outstanding performances, scoring the film for the first time.

As the digitally enhanced, 50th Anniversary of ‘West Side Story’ graced the movie screen towering over the orchestra, dance scenes burst with color and beauty, enhancing the perfect acoustics of each vocal performance soaring over the audience, such as with Rita Moreno’s ‘America'. Other song highlights included the striking ‘Dance at the Gym,’ the sweet harmony of ‘Tonight,’ the quietly powerful ‘Cool,’ and the booming horns of ‘Gee Officer Krupke.’

Leonard Bernstein's 'West Side Story' was presented by host Ron Della Chiesa live on WCRB 99.5 FM for one night only and is not available on Boston Symphony Orchestra’s podcast.

The Boston Pops will next present a live music presentation of the beloved family classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11. Visit www.bso.org for more information and the array of upcoming events with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and beyond!

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Jack White
    Jack White has played the longest show of his career, going for over three hours
    Music Buzz
  • Donald Sterling
    Donald Sterling loses big in court, Clippers sale will proceed
    Video
    Today's Buzz
  • Steve Nash
    The Los Angeles Lakers will not use stretch provision on Steve Nash
    NBA Buzz
  • Peter Gabriel
    Peter Gabriel revisits classics in new concert film 'Back to Front'
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Train
    Train rocks an outdoor show with old favorites and new hits in Tahoe
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Rascal Flatts
    Rascal Flatts to perform at Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
    Camera
    11 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Miranda Kerr was at the root of an altercation between her ex, Orlando Bloom, and Justin Bieber in Ibiza
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518211810" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518211810&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Talented cast is the highlight of Uptown Players' "The Boy From Oz"
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4U_HMerh0g8?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Is Maks really not coming back to "Dancing With the Stars"?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518346530" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518346530&autoStart=true"></div>