This article is about the stage musical. The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang’s leader, Riff, 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 whistle while you work sheet music pdf a turning point in American musical theatre. It ran for 732 performances before going on tour.
The show had an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals and international productions. Eager to write his first musical, Laurents immediately agreed. Bernstein wanted to present the material in operatic form, but Robbins and Laurents resisted the suggestion. When he opted to drop out, the three men went their separate ways, and the piece was shelved for almost five years. Laurents to write the book. Laurents accepted and suggested Bernstein and Robbins join the creative team.
Laurents liked the lyrics but was not impressed with the music. Sondheim did not care for Laurents’ opinion. The two contacted Robbins, who was enthusiastic about a musical with a Latin beat. Laurents began developing the musical while working on their respective projects, keeping in touch with Bernstein, who had returned to New York. Laurents to revise his script with her in mind, he backed out of the film, freeing him to devote all his time to the stage musical.
Laurents asked Sondheim if he would be interested in tackling the task. Meanwhile, Laurents had written a new draft of the book changing the characters’ backgrounds: Anton, once an Irish American, was now of Polish and Irish descent, and the formerly Jewish Maria had become a Puerto Rican. Later the scenes related to Juliet’s faking her death and committing suicide also were deleted. Laurents ultimately invented what sounded like real street talk but actually was not: “cut the frabba-jabba”, for example. Sondheim converted long passages of dialogue, and sometimes just a simple phrase like “A boy like that would kill your brother”, into lyrics. With the help of Oscar Hammerstein, Laurents convinced Bernstein and Sondheim to move “One Hand, One Heart”, which he considered too pristine for the balcony scene, to the scene set in the bridal shop, and as a result “Tonight” was written to replace it. Laurents felt that the building tension needed to be alleviated in order to increase the impact of the play’s tragic outcome, so comic relief in the form of Officer Krupke was added to the second act.