In the “West Side Story,” the 1961 film adapted from the 1957 Broadway musical, lovers from rival gangs (Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer) aspire to a life beyond the prejudice and hopelessness of gritty New York. The classic plays Monday, September 16, at 7 p.m. $8. Sebastiani Theatre, 476 First St, E. 996.9756. Sebastianitheatre.com.
The mold-breaking production was driven by a stunning convergence of creative talent: industry legends Leonard Bernstein, composer, and Jerome Robbins, choreography; and lyrics by newcomer Stephen Sondheim. With (for its time) a bold plot line, and revolutionary dance moves than channel the teen rebels’ relentless energy and defiance, the result, even with the gorgeous score and moments of humor, is far across the tracks from the cheery likes of “My Fair Lady.” Co-starring Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris, the film won 10 Academy Awards.
TRIVIA QUIZ — Answers below
1. The movie is a version of the 1957 Broadway play. What was the play based on?
2. When the play opened, Leonard Bernstein, its composer, was the music director for what major symphony?
3. Co-director and choreographer Jerome Robbins was involved in some of the era’s biggest Broadway musical hits. Name one.
4. The play was a huge hit but nonetheless did not win the Tony that year. What production did?
5. Which of these actors was not considered for the part of Tony, leader of the Sharks? Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Troy Donahue, Bobby Darin, Warren Beatty or Montgomery Clift?
6. The part of Maria was also much coveted in Hollywood. Who among these actresses was not up for the part? Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Susan Pleshette, Valerie Harper or Diane Baker.
7. Of its 10 Academy Awards, two were for acting. Name the recipients.
8. Marni Nixon sang the part of Maria, one of her several dub jobs for high profile musical roles. Name another.
9. Name the musical that won more Academy Awards.
10. “West Side Story” won the Oscar as the Best Picture of 1961. Name one of the other nominated films.
1) Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
2) New York Philharmonic
3) “The King and I,” “Peter Pan,” “Gypsy,” “Funny Girl,” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” among others.
4) “The Music Man”
7) Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, each in a supporting role.
8) Nixon was the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady;” Deborah Kerr,
“The King and I” and “Affair to Remember.”
10) “Fanny,” “The Guns of Navarone,” “The Hustler,” and “Judgment at Nuremberg.”