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WEST SIDE STORY back on the big screen for one night only 50th anniversary
Bringing one of the most acclaimed works of musical drama ever captured back to movie theaters nationwide for one night only this fall, NCM Fathom and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) are presenting The West Side Story 50th Anniversary Event on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 pm local time. This unprecedented opportunity allows audiences to enjoy every sensational song and dazzling dance number back on the big screen in this cinematic masterpiece, which originally won a stunning 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1961. The West Side Story 50th Anniversary Event will open with an exciting new TCM original production featuring a discussion with Walter Mirisch of The Mirisch Company, which produced the classic; Oscar®-winning actor George Chakiris; and vocalist Marni Nixon, who served as Natalie Woods’ voice double. TCM Host Robert Osborne moderates the discussion, which was taped at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in historic Hollywood.
Tickets for The West Side Story 50th Anniversary Event are available at the Edwards Theatre box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The West Side Story 50th Anniversary Event will appear in nearly 400 select movie theaters across the country via the new digital cinema projection systems.
“The West Side Story 50th Anniversary Event will give movie lovers around the country the opportunity to experience one of the greatest movie musicals of all time on the big screen through state-of-the-art digital projection,” says Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation/general manager of festivals for TCM, TBS and TNT. “As an added bonus, moviegoers will also get to enjoy one of the many terrific panel discussions from the TCM Classic Film Festival. We’re very excited to be partnering with NCM Fathom on this extraordinary event.”
West Side Story is a modern adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” retold as a story of New York City gang violence with a sophisticated scoring and exuberant choreography. The tale of young, star-crossed lovers became a parable of the modern world, where Maria (Natalie Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer) were doomed not only by their passion but also by larger social forces. It transcended these apparent contradictions and made a classic tale timely by overlaying the love story with an exploration of mid-century racial tensions, transforming the Montagues and Capulets into the all-white Jets gang and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Music and story blended powerfully, as the sounds of the streets became the percussive muscle of a heavy-hitting score that blended jazz, pop and Latin rhythms. This monumental production, conceived and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, features the timeless lyrics of master American songwriter Stephen Sondheim, a magnificent score by Leonard Bernstein and a heartfelt book by playwright Arthur Laurents.
“Over the last 50 years, West Side Storyhas maintained its place among the greatest films ever made, with a stunning soundtrack and timeless storyline that continue to have a massive impact on audiences everywhere,” says Dan Diamond, senior vice president of NCM Fathom. “For one more night, fans can experience the magic of this cinematic treasure, fully restored and on the big screen.”
Set in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a white working-class group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein's score for the musical has become extremely popular; it includes "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere", "Tonight", "Jet Song", "I Feel Pretty", "A Boy Like That", "One Hand, One Heart", "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "Cool".