“West Side Story” Won’t Return to Broadway
“West Side Story,” an ambitious and reinvented cover of the classic musical, will not reopen when Broadway returns this fall, the show announced on Monday, making it one of the biggest productions to fall victim to the pandemic. .
The show’s lead producer Scott Rudin announced in April that he was stepping down from active roles in his Broadway productions after being criticized for a long history of employee bullying. But Rudin said at the time that while decisions about the future of “West Side Story” and its other shows would be left to others, he hoped they would return to Broadway when theaters were allowed to reopen. .
The revival of “West Side Story” – set up by a creative team with avant-garde references, including director Ivo van Hove and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – opened in February 2020, less than a month before that the coronavirus epidemic does not shut down Broadway. and put an end to performances across the country.
“This difficult and painful decision comes after we have explored all possible avenues to a successful race, and unfortunately for various reasons reopening is not a practical proposition,” said Kate Horton, a producer of the show. , in a press release. “We thank all the brilliant and creative artists who brought ‘West Side Story‘ to life at the Broadway Theater even for such a brief time, especially the extraordinary company of actors, 33 of whom made their Broadway debut in this production.
News of the “West Side Story” closing comes as Broadway cautiously prepares for a comeback. The premieres of the track “Pass Over” began last week and are expected to be followed next month by the return of longtime favorites including “Hadestown”, “Hamilton”, “Wicked” and more.
Several other shows produced by Rudin plan to return to Broadway. Aaron Sorkin’s theatrical adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” plans to resume performances on October 5 with Jeff Daniels back in the cast; the production announced that the show would now be overseen by Orin Wolf, who would receive the title of executive producer.
But even as Broadway prepares for a triumphant return, the departure of “West Side Story” is a reminder of the toll the pandemic has taken on the industry.
Last May, just two months after the start of the pandemic, Disney Theatrical Productions announced that its stage adaptation of “Frozen” would not reopen. “Mean Girls,” a Broadway adaptation of the 2004 film with a book by Tina Fey, has also announced that it will not be returning.
The “West Side Story” production, while daring, opened up to mixed reviews. A new Steven Spielberg film adaptation is slated for release in December, but the Broadway show won’t be there to capitalize on the interest in the new film version.