Movie Classic West Side Story To Screen With Live Music By The NZSO

The beloved 1961 film West Side
returns to the big screen in 2023 as a
movie experience like no other, featuring live music from
the New Zealand Symphony

This iconic film has won
10 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Bernstein’s
electrifying score is performed live, featuring memorable
songs with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, while the newly
re-mastered film is shown in glorious high definition on the
big screen with the original vocals and dialogue

This classic romantic tragedy, one of the
greatest achievements in the history of movie musicals,
features breath-taking choreography by Jerome Robbins, a
masterful script by Arthur Laurents and screenplay by Ernest

MGM presents West Side Story Film with Live
on Saturday, 18 February sees the NZSO led by
renowned Singaporean conductor Joshua Tan for two
performances. Maestro Tan previously conducted West Side
Story Film with Live Orchestra
to acclaim with the
Singapore Symphony Orchestra in 2018.

From the hit
songs Maria, America, I Feel Pretty and
Somewhere, to the breathless and iconic choreography,
West Side Story is one of the greatest film
adaptations of any Broadway musical in history. Directed by
Robert Wise, it has been deemed “culturally significant”
by the United States Library of Congress.

The film and
musical continue to resonate, with Steven Spielberg’s
version released in 2021 and Bradley Cooper to direct and
star in Maestro, a film about Leonard Bernstein, to
be released next year.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s
Romeo and Juliet, street gangs The Jets and The
Sharks battle for control of New York’s Upper West Side,
only for the Jets’ Tony (Richard Beymer) to fall in love
with Maria (Natalie Wood), sister of the Sharks’ leader
Bernardo (George Chakiris).

West Side Story Film
with Live Orchestra
has the blessing of Bernstein’s
family. “For devotees of the movie, it’s a revelation to
hear the Bernstein score in such a dynamic, visceral way,”
says his daughter Jamie.

“And for those who
experience the film for the first time, there could be no
better way to see, hear and fall in love with it. As a
result, West Side Story Film with Live Orchestra is
an ideal excursion for families. What better way to get your
kids into those finger snaps? And what better way to
experience that amazing music? And equally important: what
better way to have a conversation with your kids about the
forces of hatred and intolerance which still affect our
societies today?”

Tickets to West Side Story Film
with Live Orchestra
go on sale to NZSO Members and via
Live In WLG presale from 2pm Wednesday, 23 Nov and the
public via from 2pm Friday, 25


Photos attached: (1) The
electrifying choreography combined with Leonard
Bernstein’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics made
West Side Story a hit. (2) Anita (Rita Moreno), centre, won
a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for West Side Story.
(3) The Jets’ Tony (Richard Beymer) falls in love with
Maria (Natalie Wood) from rival gang The Sharks in West Side
Story. Credit: Courtesy of United Artists. The New Zealand
Symphony Orchestra.

MGM presents West Side Story
Film with Live Orchestra


| Michael Fowler Centre |Saturday 18
February 2023 | 2.00pm & 7.30pm


Composer Leonard

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a
world-renowned musician, composer and conductor throughout
his entire adult life. He was Music Director of the New York
Philharmonic and conducted the world’s major orchestras
recording hundreds of these performances. His books and the
televised Young People’s Concerts with the New York
Philharmonic established him as a leading educator. His
compositions include Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety,
Kaddish, Serenade, Five Anniversaries, Mass, Chichester
Psalms, Slava!, Songfest, Divertimento for Orchestra, Missa
Brevis, Arias and Barcarolles, Concerto for Orchestra
and A Quiet Place. Bernstein composed for the
Broadway musical stage, including On the Town, Wonderful
Town, Candide
and the immensely popular West Side
In addition to the West Side Story
collaboration, Bernstein worked with choreographer
Jerome Robbins on three major ballets, Fancy Free,
and Dybbk. Bernstein was the recipient
of many honours, including, the Antoinette Perry Tony Award
for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater, 11 Emmy
Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and the
Kennedy Center Honors. In 1974 Bernstein toured New Zealand
conducting the New York Philharmonic.

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and
lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing
Happened On The Way To The Forum
(1962), Anyone Can
(1964), Company (1970), Follies
(1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs
(1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd
(1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday In
The Park With George
(1984), Into The Woods
(1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994), and
Road Show (2008), as well as lyrics for West Side
(1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A
(1965), and additional lyrics for Candide
(1973). Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me
A Little
(1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow
(1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), and
Sondheim On Sondheim (2010) are anthologies of his
work as composer and lyricist. For films, he composed the
scores of Stavisky (1974), co-composed the score for
Reds (1981), and wrote songs for Dick Tracy
(1990). He wrote songs for the television production
Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The
Last of Sheila
(1973) and the play Getting Away With
(1996) and provided incidental music for the
plays The Girls Of Summer (1956), Invitation To A
(1961), Twigs (1971), and The
(1973). His collected lyrics with attendant
essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the
(2010) and Look, I Made a Hat (2011). In 2010
the Broadway theatre formerly known as Henry Miller’s
Theatre was renamed in his honour.

Book Arthur

Arthur Laurents (1917-2011) is the author of
musical plays such as West Side Story, Gypsy,
Anyone Can Whistle, Do I Hear A Waltz?,
Hallelujah Baby! (1967 Tony Award for Best Musical)
and Nick & Nora; and the screenplays The Snake
, Rope, Caught, Anastasia,
Bonjour Tristesse, The Way We Were, and The
Turning Point
(Golden Globe Award, Screenwriters Guild
Award, Writers Guild of America Award, National Board of
Review Best Picture Award). The last two screenplays were
novels as well. His plays include Claudia Lazlo,
Home Of The Brave, The Time Of The Cuckoo,
A Clearing In The Woods, Invitation To The
, The Enclave, Scream, Two
, The Radical Mystique, My Good Name,
and Jolson Sings Again.

He has also directed
plays and musicals for the theatre, among them I Can Get
It For You Wholesale
, Invitation To A March,
Anyone Can Whistle, The Enclave, The Madwoman Of
Central Park West
, Birds Of Paradise, three
revivals of Gypsy (with Angela Lansbury in 1974, with
Tyne Daly in 1989, with Patti LuPone in 2007) and La Cage
Aux Folles
(1984 Tony Award for Best Director of a
Musical, 1985 Sydney Drama Critics Award for

He has also written radio episodes for
Hollywood Playhouse, Assignment Home (Variety
Radio Award, 1945), The Thin Man, Army Service
Force Presents
, The Man Behind the Gun, and
This is Your FBI.

He was honoured by awards
from many organisations, among them the National Institute
of Arts and Letters, Writers Guild of America, Antoinette
Perry (Tonys), Golden Globe, Drama Desk, National Board of
Review and the Sydney Drama Critics. He was a member of the
Theatre Hall of Fame, P.E.N., the Screenwriter’s Guild, the
Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences and is an
emeritus member of the Council of the Dramatist

Director Robert Wise

Best known as the
director of the musical smash hits West
Side Story
and The Sound of Music, in the
1960s, director Robert
(1914–2005) had a long list of credits that
included several other important films as well. Early in his
career, he also served as editor on the landmark film Citizen

Wise’s contributions have sometimes been
overlooked by film students and historians, for he did not
have one of the distinctive directorial styles that inspire
passion in cinema devotees. Instead, he made films in many
genres, from war dramas to horror and science
genre pieces, from three-handkerchief weepers to
serious social tales. And, having avoided musicals for most
of his career, he made two of the most famous musicals of
all as his career hit its peak. If Wise was underrated by
students of film, his craft was recognised by his fellow
directors and industry figures, who honoured him richly
toward the end of his long life.

Co-director and
choreographer Jerome Robbins

Jerome Robbins
(1918-1998) is world renowned for his work as a
choreographer of ballets as well as his work as a director
and choreographer in theatre, movies and television. His
Broadway shows include On the Town, Billion Dollar
, High Button Shoes, West Side Story,
The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan,
Miss Liberty, Call Me Madam, and Fiddler on
the Roof
. His last Broadway production in 1989,
Jerome Robbins = Broadway, won six Tony Awards
including best musical and best director.

Among the
more than 60 ballets he created are Fancy Free,
Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, Dances at
a Gathering
, In the Night, In G Major,
Other Dances, Glass Pieces and Ives, Songs,
which are in the repertories of New York City Ballet and
other major dance companies throughout the world. His last
ballets include A Suite of Dances created for Mikhail
Baryshnikov (1994), 2 & 3 Part Inventions (1994),
West Side Story Suite (1995) and Brandenburg

In addition to two Academy Awards for the film
West Side Story, Robbins received four Tony Awards,
five Donaldson Awards, an Emmy Award, the Screen Directors’
Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
Robbins was a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was
awarded the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la
Legion d’Honneur.

Screenwriter Ernest

Ernest Lehman, American screenwriter and film
producer (1915-2005), one of the most critically and
commercially successful screenwriters in Hollywood history,
grew up on Long Island and graduated from New York’s City
College. One of his first jobs was as a copywriter for a
Broadway publicist. This experience would later be reflected
in his novel and screenplay, Sweet Smell of Success.
He wrote screenplays for some of the most enduring Hollywood
films of the 1950s and ’60s. Lehman enjoyed early success
as a short-story and novella writer before turning to
writing for the screen. He proved adept at an original
screenplay, his Academy Award-nominated North by
(1959), and adapted screenplays, notably his
Oscar-nominated work for Sabrina (1954), West Side
(1961), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia
(1966). Other screenplays included Executive
(1954), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), and
The Sound of Music (1965). In 2001 Lehman became the
first screenwriter to receive a lifetime achievement award
from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and

Conductor Joshua Tan

Joshua Tan is
presently Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony
Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Singapore National
Youth Orchestra.

Second Prize winner of the 2008
Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition, Singaporean
conductor Joshua Tan’s rise to prominence on the
international scene has been marked by recent successful
debuts in Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Mariinsky
Hall, Bunkamura, Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan. Joshua was
featured as the top Singaporean musical talent to watch for
in 2009 by the Singapore newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao. He has
won numerous awards and scholarships, including the Bruno
Walter Memorial Foundation Award, NAC-Shell Scholarship,
SSO/MOE Scholarship and is the first ever recipient of the
Charles Schiff Conducting Prize from the Juilliard School
for outstanding achievement. In 2011, he received the Young
Artist Award of Singapore.

Joshua has come to the
attention of the leading conductors of today and has studied
with James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman and Kurt
Masur. Other conductors he has worked with include Michael
Tilson Thomas, Ingo Metzmacher and George

Orchestras he has conducted include the
Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Beethoven Bonn Orchestra, Tokyo
Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony
Orchestra, National Center for the Performing Arts
Orchestra, Urals Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic
Orchestra, Okayama Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony
Orchestra, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Russiche
Kammerphilharmonie, Macau Symphony Orchestra, National
Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Taipei Symphony Orchestra,
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Obihiro Symphony Orchestra,
Juilliard Orchestra, Toho Orchestra, AACA Orchestra,
Kaoshiung City Symphony Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony
Orchestra, St Petersburg State Symphony amongst

Equally at home with both symphoni c and
operatic repertoire, he has conducted La Traviata,
L’elisir d’amore, Tosca, Rigoletto,
Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola,
Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Un
Ballo in Maschera
, Carmen, Don Giovanni,
Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Cosi fan
, and Turandot amongst others. He was also
cover conductor for Christoph Eschenbach and Lorin Maazel.
Also adept at working with film/multimedia and music, Joshua
is a Disney-approved conductor and gave the Asian premiere
of Fantasia. He has also conducted for the BBC’s
Planet Earth Series, Disney’s Pixar and Dreams Come
True. Ballet productions include the premiere of Marco
, Swan Lake and Giselle.

He had
a successful stint as Resident Conductor of the National
Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra from 2009 to 2012
with numerous televised concerts and was Principal Conductor
of the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra from 2013–2017.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season included Giselle in
Tokyo, Sleeping Beauty, L’elisir d’amore ,
Bernstein’s Mass and a performance of the complete
West Side Story with film for the centenary in
Singapore amongst others. Overseeing a special initiative,
Joshua is also Director for the Asia Virtuosi since 2017, an
annual festival orchestra which comprises of leading
professional orchestral musicians from different orchestras
in Asia. Joshua is a graduate of The Juilliard School and
the Eastman School of Music (High

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