The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera have announced that they are co-presenting a free outdoor screening of Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise’s classic “West Side Story” on the Lincoln Center Plaza in front of the opera house on Friday, August 28 — which is basically the exact spot where most of the film takes place (before Lincoln Center existed).
The 1961 film — which won 10 Oscars — is a beloved adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which was originally inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The free screening starts at 7:45pm and runs 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is open to the public and seating is first-come, first-served. The event is a special tease, serving to kick off the Met Opera’s popular Summer HD Festival.
Says Film Society and the Met in a press release:
Before Lincoln Center became the place to hear Plácido Domingo sing “La donna è mobile” or witness Anna Netrebko deliver Lucia di Lammermoor’s mad scene, the Upper West 60s was imagined in this film as a gritty, blue-collared neighborhood where Tony belted out “Something’s Coming,” Maria declared “I Feel Pretty,” and the Jets danced to “Gee, Officer Krupke.” Natalie Wood stars as good girl Maria (dubbed vocally by Marni Nixon), who falls in love with handsome Tony, played by Richard Beymer, who happens to be the leader of the gang facing off against the faction led by Maria’s brother. Rita Moreno and George Chakiris complete the principal cast (both winning supporting Oscars). The real star of the show, though, is Bernstein’s glorious score. From “Maria” to “Tonight” to “America” to “Somewhere,” West Side Story features one unforgettable tune after another (not to mention song lyrics by a twentysomething Stephen Sondheim), along with dazzling emotional choreography. The story of impossible love and violent death should set the stage ideally for Bizet’s Carmen—the opening opera of the festival the very next night on Saturday, August 29.
Mark your calendars!