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Arthur Levine West Side Story

Arthur Levine born on July 14, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY. Accepted at Cornell University, where he nurtured an early love of theater by obsessively reading plays in his spare time. Remembered as a prolific stage director and screenwriter, who was credited for the musicals from there books “West Side Story” (1957) and “Gypsy” (1959). In 1957, Laurents wrote the libretto for “West Side Story. ” Which was originally conceived by Jerome Robbins as a twist on “Romeo and Juliet”. Idea for this began with Robbins. In 1949, he asked Laurents to draft a script for a story of conflict between Jews and Italian Catholics on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Took five years, and a rethinking of Manhattan demographics and geography, for the project to proceed. Reimagined the feuding clans of “Romeo and Juliet”. Replaced the Montagues and the Capulets with Jews and Catholics, and was originally titled “East Side Story. ” Laurents and his co-creators, however, transformed it into a Polish-American Romeo and Puerto Rican Juliet, struggling with their forbidden love with the rivaling gangs, the Puerto Rican Sharks and the Polish-Americans Jets, engaged on the streets of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Montagues and the Capulets were now represented by the Jets and the Sharks.

Laurents wrote in “Mainly on Directing,” his 2009 memoir, that “West Side Story” proved that “any subject — murder, attempted rape, bigotry — could be the subject of a popular musical. ” (http://www. tcm. com/tcmdb/person/109505%7C16031/Arthur-Laurents/biography. html) After 732 performances on Broadway = into a film in 1961. Laurents directed a revival in London in 1998. “Biography for Arthur Laurents. ” Turner Classic Movies. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 May 2016. Berkvist, Robert. “Arthur Laurents, Playwright and Director on Broadway, Dies at 93. ” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 May 2011. Web. 06 May 2016.

Synopsis It’s an exact twist of romeo and Juliet. Battle between The Jets (polish-Americans) and The Sharks (Puerto Ricans) over the streets of Manhattan upper west side. Riff, the leader of the jets, runs into Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks and began a battle off in the form of dancing and music. Detective shows up and tells them to get along and “you’re making my job harder”. (Page. ) Both gangs attend that dance that might where Tony, riff best friend and former member of The Jets, and Maria, Bernardo’s sister, meet = instant love. They were dancing concealing their love, but torn apart by the two gangs.

This lead to the rivalry gang agreeing to settle it out with their best man from each gang. Tony and Maria struggle to hide their forbidden love and meet in secret but caught by Bernardo’s girlfriend/Maria’s best friend, Anita. Meanwhile the rumble was about to began. Maria found out about this and demanded Tony to go stop this rumble. The rumble didn’t too well, Bernardo killed Riff and Tony killed Bernardo out of anger. Maria was devastated to figure this out and was going to see Tony at the candy and Soda shop. She was stopped by the detective with some questions.

Maria sent Anita tell to Tony she was unable to see him. Anita was then harassed by the Jets and sent the wrong message saying Chino killed Maria. Tony was devastated and went to find Chino. Maria and Tony saw each other on the basketball court and ran to each other. Tony was shot by Chino. Everybody gathered around and realized this go out of control. Romeo: Tony Juliet: Maria Tybalt: Bernardo Mercutio: Riff Friar Lawrence: Doc Paris: Chino Nurse: Anita Theme What was analysed of the theme from West side story was deep, intense, and passionate love that defines everything that was fought for.

As in “Romeo and Juliet” Maria and Tony fought for their love as Juliet and Romeo did. Went through some measure of going behind their families, friends, and society. It showed their social world, friends, family, and everything involved in it. The love of these two lovers was just so powerful that it destroyed many life and lead to revolts between both gangs. Both Juliet and Maria went behind the advice given to them by the Nurse/Anita for the love they felt. Even after the tragic deaths of their loved ones, they still were afraid to lose Romeo/Tony.

Another analysation from this book was conflict between individual self and society. The protagonists struggled with what their families and society expected them to be. It was a tragic love to be. This love was an act of suicide. When Tony was told by Anita that chino killed Maria, he ran out from hiding and challenged Chino to kill him. His death was not suicide exact, but was willing to risk his life for Maria. Intension was brought upon when both gangs arrived just to see the death of Tony and what this rivalry between both gangs lead too.

Love lead to violence, which was brought upon since the beginning of both stories. This was proven when both were pulled apart at the dance from the feuding gangs. From that point, it was known some dilemma was going to commence. Element of the Theme The Sharks v. s the Jets. The Sharks are Puerto Rico while the Jets are Polish-American. There was definitely some differential race in this. The Sharks were new to America and this society, therefore were different. The conflict between Maria and Tony’s relationship shows how racial prejudice and interracial relationship lead to hate.

Hate was showed between anybody, yet there was no reason for why. There was hate based on looks from the Jets and the Sharks. This hate really sparked among both gangs when the Puerto Rican woman (Maria) and an American (Tony) were seen together at the dance. This version was also written in a time where racial prejudice was a gruesome. Also when the detective, Schrank, arrives to Doc’s “Soda and Candy” shop, he tells the “Puerto Ricans” to scatter instead of the Americans. Why the Puerto Ricans, not the Americans? Book Title This version was written as a twist inspired by “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare.

Was written to reimagined “Romeo and Juliet” but as a twist in a turn of events. West side story was more a urban time setting in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Revealing as where the story is taking place is what the title of the memoir is labeled as. The author wants to show the urban style of the book and the irony of it. It showed the rules being broken and time era of this book even with the rivaling gangs. Conclusion I would say this can be a classic to some people. It may not be the original “Romeo and Juliet” but it had its perks to it.

It was absolutely one of kind of an urban metropolitan time period. It allowed me to see another side of romance in a contrasting way. It gives you a buzz of excitement and makes you feel alive, just the rush of adrenaline. Especially with the outbreaks of dancing and music, whether it’s a contented or melancholy scenery. The process in this book of gathering the gangs in the end after the sacrifice made was astonishing. It showed love can’t be broken no matter the differences or what society or others stop you from doing. I highly recommended this book.

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