Broadway’s ‘West Side Story’ Revival Won’t Reopen

The revival of West Side Story will not return when Broadway repoens its doors in September, producer Kate Horton said on Monday. The iconic musical was one of only a handful of major titles that had not made an official announcement about its return plans after New York declared back in May that theatres could return to 100% capacity on September 14, more than 18 months after the industry was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is with great regret that we are announcing today that the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story will not reopen,” Horton said. “This difficult and painful decision comes after we have explored every possible path to a successful run, and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, reopening is not a practical proposition. We thank all the brilliant, creative artists who brought West Side Story to life at the Broadway Theatre, even for so brief a time, especially the extraordinary acting company, 33 of whom made their Broadway debuts in this production.”

West Side Story, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, had been reimagined by Ivo van Hove, choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and designer Jan Versweyveld. It opened February 20 at the Broadway Theatre after previews that started in December 2019, but it only ran 21 performances before the Covid lockdown took hold; the show did not have enough performances to be eligible for Tony Awards consideration.

Newcomers Isaac Powell starred as Tony, Shereen Pimentel as Maria and Yesenia Ayala as Maria.

It had been among only a handful of shows to not make a call on returning. Dana H., Is This A Room and a revised Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are among the latest shows to have announced openings as the industry returns to full-capacity audiences.

All productions have indicated that prevailing Covid safety guidelines and protocols will be followed when audiences return. Also, playing schedules for each production could vary from Broadway’s standard eight-shows-a-week routine.

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