Today in the History of West Side Story

Events in Music

  • 1957-09-26 Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's musical "West Side Story" premieres at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC
  • 1959-06-27 "West Side Story" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 734 performances

Film release premierFilm Release

1961-10-18 Film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, and starring Natalie Wood, debuts (Academy Award - Best Picture, 1962)

Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

1962-04-09 34th Academy Awards: "West Side Story" (Best Picture, Director, and 8 more), Sophia Loren (Two Women) & Maximilian Schell (Judgement At Nuremberg) win

Actress Sophia Loren
Actress
Sophia Loren
Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno
Actor Maximilian Schell
Actor
Maximilian Schell
  • 1962-05-05 "West Side Story" soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 54 weeks which is more than 20 weeks longer than any other album
  • 1980-02-14 "West Side Story" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 341 performances
  • 1980-11-30 "West Side Story" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 341 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • 1911-10-01 Irwin Kostal, American orchestra leader and arranger (West Side Story: The Sound Of Music; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1994)
  • 1914-09-10 Robert Wise, American Academy Award-winning film director (The Day the Earth Stood Still; West Side Story; The Sound Of Music), born in Winchester, Indiana (d. 2005)
  • 1918-07-14 Arthur Laurents, American playwright (West Side Story, Gypsy), born in NYC, New York
  • 1918-08-25 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer (West Side Story), born in Lawrence, Massachusetts (d. 1990)
  • 1918-10-11 Jerome Robbins, American choreographer (Tony-West Side Story), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1998)
  • 1928-01-30 Harold Prince, American producer & director (West Side Story, Evita), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2019)
  • 1930-03-22 Stephen Sondheim, American lyricist (West Side Story; Into The Woods; Company), born in NYC, New York

Person of interestRita Moreno

1931-12-11 Rita Moreno [Rosita Dolores Alverío], Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress (West Side Story), born in Humacao, Puerto Rico

Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno
  • 1933-01-23 Chita Rivera, American actress (West Side Story, Sweet Charity), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1934-09-05 Carol Lawrence, American actress (West Side Story), born in Melrose Park, Illinois
  • 1934-09-16 George Chakiris, American actor (West Side Story), born in Norwood, Ohio
  • 1934-11-24 Martin Charnin, American Broadway stage singer, dancer (West Side Story), director, and lyricist (Annie), born in New York City (d. 2019)
  • 1937-02-18 Alan Johnson, American screen and stage choreographer (The Producers - "Springtime for Hitler"; Legs Diamond; 3 Emmy Awards), director (To Be Or Not To Be), and dancer (West Side Story), born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1938-07-20 Natalie Wood [Natasha Gurdin], American actress (Gypsy, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1981)
  • 1939-02-21 Richard Beymer, Avoca IA, actor (West Side Story, Diary of Anne Frank)

Deaths in Music

  • 1981-11-29 Natalie Wood [Natasha Gurdin], American actress (Gypsy, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story), drowns at 43
  • 1988-12-22 Tucker Smith, singer/dancer (Cool-West Side Story), dies
  • 1990-10-14 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer (West Side Story), dies of heart attack at 72
  • 1991-06-06 Larry Kert, actor (Tony-West Side Story), dies of AIDS at 60
  • 1994-11-30 Irwin Kostal, American orchestra leader and arranger (West Side Story; The Sound Of Music; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), dies at 83
  • 1997-11-15 Saul Chaplin, director (West Side Story), dies at 85
  • 1998-07-29 Jerome Robbins, American choreographer (Tony-West Side Story), dies at 79
  • 2005-09-14 Robert Wise, American Academy Award-winning film director (The Day the Earth Stood Still; West Side Story; The Sound Of Music), dies of heat failure at 91
  • 2018-07-08 Alan Johnson, American screen and stage choreographer (The Producers - "Springtime for Hitler"; Legs Diamond; 3 Emmy Awards), director (To Be Or Not To Be), and dancer (West Side Story),, dies at 81
  • 2019-07-06 Martin Charnin, American Broadway stage singer, dancer (West Side Story), director, and lyricist (Annie), dies after a heart attack at 84