Today in the History of West Side Story

Events in Music

  • 1957-09-26 Bernstein & 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 "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, the film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical, starring Natalie Wood, is released (Academy Awards 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", Sophia Loren & Maximillian Schell win

Actress Sophia Loren
Actress
Sophia Loren
Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno
  • 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, orchestra leader and arranger (West Side Story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1994)
  • 1914-09-10 Robert Wise, director (Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story)
  • 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, 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.
  • 1933-09-16 George Chakiris, American actor (West Side Story), born in Norwood, Ohio
  • 1934-09-05 Carol Lawrence, American actress (West Side Story), born in Melrose Park, Illinois
  • 1934-11-24 Martin Charnin, Broadway lyricist (Annie, West Side Story)
  • 1937-02-18 Alan Johnson, American 3-time Emmy Award winning choreographer (Springtime for Hitler, 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
  • 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
  • 2018-07-08 Alan Johnson, American 3-time Emmy Award winning choreographer (Springtime for Hitler, West Side Story), dies at 81