The creation of West Side Story was an extended process, involving decades of work, long periods of drought, and the collaboration of four of American musical theatre’s greatest standalone talents. The original idea for the musical came from director/choreographer Jerome Robbins, who wanted to adapt Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into a musical about the conflict between and Irish Catholic and a Jewish family in New York, tentatively called East Side Story. Robbins approached composer Leonard Bernstein and book-writer Arthur Laurents about his idea in 1947, but other work and obligations soon

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