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West Side Story is a modernized version of Romeo and Juliet. It takes place in 1950's New York and centers around two rival gangs: the Jets, who are the resident bad boys in town, and the Sharks, who are Puerto Rican. The Jets are against the Sharks because they think that the Puerto Rican immigrants are taking over the town. Tony, a former Jet, falls in love with Maria, the brother of the Sharks' leader, Bernardo. Needless to say, neither of the gangs is incredibly thrilled. They challenge each other to a rumble, which ends up with Bernardo killing Riff, the Jets' leader, and Tony killing Bernardo. Maria forgives him, but Anita, Bernardo's girlfriend, doesn't. Meanwhile, the Jets are trying to find Tony and bring him back to them. Tony hides out with them for a while, but when Maria sends Anita to speak to him, Anita is hassled by the Jets and tells them to tell Tony that Maria is dead. When Tony hears the false news, he goes out onto the street, where he sees Maria, very much alive and well. However, just as he runs to her, he is shot and killed by a remaining Shark gang member. Maria is left alone, with only her memories of Tony. It's a very depressing play, but it's very good and I highly recommend it.

West Side Story Lyrics

The Jet Song
Dear Officer Krupke
There's a Place for Us
Back to My Stage Page