Birth of a Musical

  • Bernstein’s Annotated Copy of Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1940. Ed. by George Kittredge. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. (1) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc
  • Early Scene Breakdown. Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein. Scene breakdown, ca. 1949. Typescript with holograph annotations. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (2) Used by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust
  • Romeo Synopsis. Arthur Laurents. Romeo Synopsis, October 1955. Typescript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (51) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc
  • Letter from Jerome Robbins. Jerome Robbins to Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents, with annotations by Leonard Bernstein, October 18, 1955. Typescript letter. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (4) Used by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust
  • Scene Outline with Notes on Songs and Music. Leonard Bernstein. Scene Outline with notes regarding songs, ca. 1949. Holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (5). By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Audition Notes. West Side Story audition notes, May 7, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (6) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Audition Notes. West Side Story audition notes, May 16, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (7) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Rehearsal Photographs, 1957. Friedman-Abeles, photographer. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (25) Made available online with permission of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
  • Rehearsal Photographs, 1957. Fred Fehl, photographer. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (26) Courtesy of Gabriel Pinski
  • Leonard Bernstein outside the National Theatre in Washington, DC.
  • Outside the Winter Garden Theatre after the Broadway Opening.
  • Poster for Original Broadway Production. Poster from original production of West Side Story. New York: Artcraft, 1958. Artcraft Poster Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (29)
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (30)
  • Opening Night Telegrams.Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (31)
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (32)
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (54)
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (55)
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress Opening Night Telegrams (56) [Library of Congress does not have permission to post wss0056 online]
  • Opening Night Telegrams. Telegrams, September, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (57)
  • Production Photographs

    Paul Fusco, photographer. Look Magazine Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (34-44) © Paul Fusco/Magnum Photos

  • “The Dance at the Gym, ” an extended dance number full of energetic popular music styles from rock to mambo, includes a sequence where time seems to magically stop as Tony and Maria (played by Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence) first meet and lock eyes (34)
  • In the bridal shop where Maria works, she and Tony exchange vows as they “marry” each other while singing the tender “One Hand, One Heart” (40)
  • Maria sings “I Feel Pretty,” while her three friends mock her naïve enthusiasm (38)
  • From the “Somewhere Ballet,” a dreamlike scene in which Tony, Maria, and the rest of the cast imagine a world without prejudice or violence (36)
  • From the “Somewhere Ballet,” a dreamlike scene in which Tony, Maria, and the rest of the cast imagine a world without prejudice or violence (43)
  • A furious Anita confronts Maria about Tony’s killing of Bernardo, Maria’s brother and Anita’s boyfriend, damning Tony in the song “A Boy Like That.” Maria counters with the passionate “I Have a Love” (41)
  • A furious Anita confronts Maria about Tony’s killing of Bernardo, Maria’s brother and Anita’s boyfriend, damning Tony in the song “A Boy Like That.” Maria counters with the passionate “I Have a Love” (42)
  • West Side Story closes with a gripping final scene: a devastated Maria protecting Tony’s lifeless body (44)

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On Rumble and Somewhere

  • Choreographic Notes and Musical Sketch for “The Rumble”. Jerome Robbins. Notes, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (8) Used by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust
  • Leonard Bernstein. Music and holograph manuscripts, 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (9) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Set Design for “The Rumble”. Oliver Smith. Backdrop elevation for “The Rumble,” 1957. Watercolor and gouache. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (10) Courtesy of Rosaria Sinisi, Copyright Holder, Oliver Smith’s Designs
  • Synopsis and Choreographic Notes for “Somewhere” Ballet. Typescript and Robbins’s notes, ca. 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (11) Used by permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc. and The Robbins Rights Trust
  • Synopsis and Choreographic Notes for “Somewhere” Ballet. Typescript and Robbins’s notes, ca. 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (12) Used by permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc. and The Robbins Rights Trust
  • “Somewhere” Music Manuscript. Leonard Bernstein. Holograph music manuscript for “Somewhere,” ca. 1957. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (14) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Set Design for the “Somewhere” Ballet. Oliver Smith. Preliminary design for the “Somewhere Ballet” backdrop, 1957. Watercolor and gouache. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (15) Courtesy of Rosaria Sinisi, Copyright Holder, Oliver Smith’s Designs

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Letters from Bernstein

  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 19, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (17) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 26, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (18) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 28, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (19) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 3, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (20) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 8, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (21) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 11, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (22) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 15, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (24) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.
  • Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 23, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (23) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

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The Legacy of West Side Story

  • French Version of Song “America!” Leonard Bernstein. “Si Tu Vas en America.” Trans. André Salvet. Paris: Editions Salabert, 1957. Music Division, Library of Congress (45)
  • Souvenir Program. Souvenir program for West Side Story film. New York: Program Publishing Co., 1961. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recording Sound Division, Library of Congress. (46) [Library of Congress does not have permission to post wss0046 online]
  • Poster for the 1968 Revival at Lincoln Center. Poster from the revival of West Side Story. New York: Artcraft, 1968. Artcraft Poster Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (47)
  • West Side Story on DVD. West Side Story (Special Edition DVD collector’s Set, 1961). Los Angeles, California: MGM Studios, 2003. Private Collection (48) [Library of Congress does not have permission to post wss0048 online]
  • Leonard Bernstein Conducts West Side Story: The Making of the Recording. Leonard Bernstein Conducts West Side Story, 1984. DVD. Deutsche Grammophon. Private collection (49) © Susesh Bayat/DG
  • Carol Lawrence’s Ballet Slippers from the “Somewhere Ballet”. Carol Lawrence’s ballet slippers worn in West Side Story. Fabric. Courtesy of Doug Wilson (53)

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