West Side Story comes to life with the SF Symphony…

How can you make one of cinema’s greatest musicals, winner of ten academy awards including best picture, even better? Well, you bring in the San Francisco Symphony to play Leonard Bernstein’s electrifying iconic score and that’s just what happened on Feb 1st as West Side Story was brought to new heights. The film was played on the big screen with the original vocals and dialog completely intact, as well as the amazing Tony award-winning choreography of Jerome Robbins. But on this night it was the SF symphony that brought cheers, applause and ovations throughout the two and half hour epic musical.

The film also celebrates, what would have been Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday and West Side Story couldn’t to be more relevant even today, with all the tensions that all Americans continue to face in pursuing the American dream. Conductor and famed movie composer David Newman, best known for his scoring work on, The War Of The Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger and Heathers, and Serenity, took the audience on a magical ride, from the first notes to the final scenes, it was an electrifying night to behold and one that kept fans at the edge of their seats. Bernstein would have been proud as his work continues to be celebrated on such a grand level and Newman and the SF Symphony did him justice playing through classic sing-along standards that included, “Maria”, “Tonight”, “I Feel Pretty”, and of course, “Somewhere”, which continues to rank amongst the best songs ever written.

West Side Story continues to be widely celebrated as one of the best musicals of any generation and one of the greatest love stories of all time. What a way to show tribute to such a masterpiece, my hats off to Newman and the Symphony for such a memorable night.

written by Sason Bishop Parry

For more on San Francisco Symphony go to; www.sfsymphony.org