West Side Story 《西区故事》opened in Shanghai last night, commencing it’s China tour.  This is the International touring production (in English), coming originally from BB Promotions in Germany.  Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Leonard Bernstein and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  Directed & Choreographed by Joey McNeeley, and Music Supervision by Donald Chan, this iconic Broadway tour show (with 32 actors and 70 crew) has been on the stage since it’s premiere in 1957 and was made into an oscar-winning film just a few years later in 1961.  Set in the mid-fifties, West Side Story is the tale of two rival gangs on the Upper West Side of New York, and the destruction their feud brings. It’s also a love story, between star-crossed Tony and Maria.

West Side Story 《西区故事》musical opening in Shanghai. West Side Story musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story 《西区故事》musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story 《西区故事》musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story 《西区故事》musical opening in Shanghai. West Side Story musical opening in Shanghai. West Side Story 《西区故事》musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story musical opening in Shanghai West Side Story musical lobby banner West Side Story musical opening at Shanghai Cultural Square

《西区故事》的主创人员均是音乐剧界及古典音乐界泰斗级人物。比如作曲为伯恩斯坦(Leonard Berstein),此人不仅是音乐剧作曲大家,同时也是古典音乐指挥大师与作曲大家,作词史蒂夫•桑德汉姆(Stephen Sondheim),当年的小年轻后来成为了美国概念音乐剧的鼻祖和最高产的美国式大制作音乐剧创作者。剧本作者是当时百老汇公认的第一编剧亚瑟•劳伦斯(Arthur Laurents),编舞是百老汇舞蹈界的著名编舞杰若姆•罗宾斯(Jerome Robbins),被称为美国现代舞之父;制作人兼导演哈罗德•普林斯(Harold Prince)后来也成为世界知名的音乐剧导演,在三十年后导演了《剧院魅影》。这些当时及后来被证明的创作巨匠,为《西区故事》的成功奠定了坚实的基础。

此次来到中国的版本由杰罗姆•罗宾斯的学生——托尼奖最佳编舞提名乔伊•麦克尼利(Joey McKneely)创作于12年前,这也是目前全球唯一复排罗宾斯原版编舞的版本。演出的具体呈现由欧洲制作公司BB PROMOTION完成,这一版本以极简的舞美、精致的表演而流行世界多年,既还原了杰罗姆•罗宾斯的原版创作,又融入了21世纪的全新审美。

这场制作包括32名演员和超过70名舞台工作人员,他们共同呈现了这部原汁原味的《西区故事》。音乐指导唐纳德•陈(Donald Chan)带领着交响乐团为演出伴奏,唐纳德在伯恩斯坦晚年与其相识,他非常熟悉大师的作品。在百老汇和世界各地,唐纳德•陈为《西区故事》担任了3000多场音乐总监,超过了世界上任何一位指挥家。