Westside Story at the Hollywood Bowl
On July 8th and 9th the Hollywood Bowl will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Oscar winning musical, “Westside Story” with the world premier of a brand new restored print. For two nights in a row the iconic Best Picture winner will play in high definition on the venue’s giant outdoor screen accompanied by Leonard Bernstein’s unmistakeable score performed live by the world renown Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil). All of the film’s original sound and dialogue will also be heard, but the memorable songs by Stephen Sondheim will be all the more spectacular aided by the bracing live enhancement.
The Best Picture winner of 1961 is a classic romantic tragedy based on a masterful book by Arthur Laurents, which in turn was based on Shakespeare’s own successful little play, “Romeo and Juliet”. But the breathtaking dance numbers are pure Jerome Robbins. Besides Best Picture the film received 9 other Oscars including Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris and Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno. Both performers were truly well-deserving of their awards and the boundless accolades that have have ever since heralded their impassioned performances. And of course lead actors Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer are ideal as the star-crossed sweet-hearts who love all too much if not all too well.
Be sure to wear layers and bring along some blankets with your picnic basket full of goodies. The Bowl has always encouraged audiences to bring whatever they need to make an evening with them more enjoyable, but just in case you forget they have plenty of shops and a full restaurant to supplement your needs.
I’ve been to the Bowl several times for movie themed events and count those evenings as some of my most cherished LA memories. So I highly encourage you to make the same discovery I did not too long after I arrived in LA: classic movies and the Hollywood Bowl mix well together for a one of a kind experience you’re likely to remember for a very long time.