”West Side Story”
Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, UC Davis will show West Side Story in an ideal setting: the recital hall at the Ann E. Pitzer Center, which features phenomenal acoustics and comfortable seating.
The 1961 Oscar®-winning film features music expanded from the original Broadway musical; scenes filmed amongst tenements at the future site of Lincoln Center showcase the ability of cinema to expand beyond the limitations of a traditional theatrical setting. A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story centers the love story of Tony and Maria amidst the warring Manhattan gangs of the Jets and the Sharks and all of the drama that ensues.
Musicologist and professor emeritus D. Kern Holoman writes of the music, “You will hear a virtual encyclopedia of popular jazz and dance rhythms (swing, mambo, cha-cha) and just about every kind of syncopation in the book. Eventually, the ear begins to make the connection between the Jets’ whistled salute and the ‘Maria’ motive. It is said that the composer found these and many other of his thematic ideas in the symphonic repertoire he regularly conducted.”