Tag Archives: Richard Beymer

West Side Story

Steven Spielberg wants to make a musical, and not just any musical, but a remake of West Side Story. Reportedly Tony Kushner’s already working on a script.

Coincidentally (or not) a certain Chris Evans has been mouthing around town that he’d love to do a musical too – specifically, West Side Story.

It sounds like this thing’s going to happen but before it does you’d better make sure you’ve seen the original. It took audiences by storm in 1961 and won an astounding 10 Academy Awards, including best picture.

The 1961 version starred a young Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the lead characters Maria and Tony, who are basically Romeo and Juliet, if you watch carefully enough. They come from not two feuding families but two warring gangs, sworn enemies soon swooning in young love. But if you know your Shakespeare, you know their love is heading for tragedy.

Happily, this classic film is back in theatres.

Quebec City can  see it at Cinema Le Clap July 24-26

Vancouver can watch it at Pacific Cinematheque June 30-July 3 or on July 9 at the Rio Theatre

ballet.gifWatch it, and let us know what you think. Does Beymer make a good Tony, or would Elvis Presley (the director’s first choice) have done better? And how will Captain America fill the role?

During the entire production, the actors wore out 200 pairs of shoes, applied more than 100lbs of make-up, and split 27 pairs of pants. Will Spielberg get away with such a dancey remake? Would we even want him to?

See how many of the songs you know from other pop culture references. In my head “Gee, Officer Krupke” is always sung in Larry David’s voice. And Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson made “I Feel Pretty” famous again in Anger Management. Where did you first hear the songs?

 

Audrey Hepburn was the original choice to play Maria but was too pregnant at the time to accept. Who is today’s Hepburn equivalent? Or is it blasphemy to even ask?