Indiana University Bloomington

IU Auditorium wraps up season with Broadway revival of 'West Side Story'

  • April 8, 2014
WHAT: “West Side Story”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, and Wednesday, April 23
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: $20 to $41 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $38 to $62 for the general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The newest revival of the Broadway musical “West Side Story” will give the final two performances of the IU Auditorium 2013-14 season at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, and Wednesday, April 23. This is the first time IU Auditorium has presented a professional production of this iconic Broadway musical.

Leonard Bernstein’s classic comes to life in Arthur Laurents’ innovative 2009 Broadway revival, offering a new direction that builds on the show’s famous music and timeless love story. Hailed by The New Yorker as “bold, fresh and transcendent” and by The New York Times as “enthralling and electric,” Laurents’ production has enjoyed wide critical acclaim with its efforts to create a grittier rendition of the Broadway favorite.

Though the setting remains the same, Laurents’ production offers new twists that alter the tone of the musical.

“I felt the gangs in the original were sweet little things,” Laurents said in a 2010 interview. “And the truth is, they’re all killers -- every one of them. I wanted to do a much tougher ‘West Side Story.’”

In keeping with this shift, the show’s Puerto Rican characters occasionally sing in Spanish to emphasize the clashing of cultures and multicultural reality of New York City. This is the first production of “West Side Story” that has used the characters’ native languages to more sharply highlight the rift between the rival gangs.

An urban 1950s “Romeo and Juliet,” the plot follows the ill-fated love of Tony, an idealistic Polish-American, and the virginal Puerto Rican Maria. While Manhattan’s west side rumbles with the clash of two rival gangs -- the Jets and the Sharks -- Maria and Tony struggle to keep their romance alive.

When the show originally debuted in 1957, it took the theater world by storm. Bernstein’s score -- which included the songs “Tonight,” “America,” “Maria,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere” -- Broadway star Stephen Sondheim’s memorable lyrics and Jerome Robbins’ energetic choreography propelled “West Side Story” to 732 nonstop performances and six Tony Award nominations. The show’s popularity led to the famous 1961 film adaptation by the same name, directed by Robert Wise and the original choreographer, which went on to win 10 Academy Awards.

“We are thrilled to welcome ‘West Side Story’ to the auditorium,” IU Auditorium Director Doug Booher said. “It is undeniable that every facet of the show is stellar, from Bernstein’s classic songs to the upbeat choreography. This production is guaranteed to have audiences on the edge of their seats as they witness this riveting new take on the timeless classic. I can’t think of a more fitting conclusion to what has been a fantastic season.”

For more information about “West Side Story” and the rest of the 2013-14 season, visit The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook and Twitter pages, whose members receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

“West Side Story” at IU Auditorium is sponsored by IU Foundation, Bunger & Robertson, Lamar Outdoor Advertising and Classic Touch Limousine. IU Auditorium’s 2013-14 season is sponsored by Curry Auto Center, B97, the Herald-Times and IU Residential Programs and Services.

"West Side Story"

The newest revival of the Broadway musical "West Side Story" will finish the 2013-14 IU Auditorium season at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, and Wednesday, April 23. | Photo by Carol Rosegg

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"West Side Story"

The characters Tony and Maria perform in the "Dance at the Gyrm" scene in Broadway's "West Side Story." | Photo by Carol Rosegg

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