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Five reasons you gotta go see West Side Story in Wellington

By Simon 29 May 2019 • 4 Comments

Heading our way for a strictly limited and New Zealand exclusive season, the iconic musical West Side Story promises to heat up Wellington’s early winter nights with a world-class mix of singing, dancing and acting. If you haven’t spent a night with the Jets and the Sharks before, here’s five reasons why you should book your tickets right now to a show described as the "No.1 greatest musical of all time" (Times, UK).


Untitled design 2019 05 28T112833.159 Photo credit: Jeff Busby

1. It’s the original smash-hit Broadway musical.

Long before Hamilton, Wicked and The Lion King took the musical theatre world by storm, West Side Story has been making waves since its Broadway debut in 1957, with critics praising the show as having influenced the course of musical theatre history. So many musicals owe a debt of gratitude to Leonard Bernstein’s gorgeous music, Stephen Sondheim’s beautiful lyrics and Jerome Robbin’s innovative choreography. Whether you love musicals or have never seen one before in your life, you simply can’t miss this one.

Untitled design 2019 05 28T112003.658 Photo credit: Jeff Busby

2. Romeo and Juliet is the inspiration for this timeless love story

William Shakespeare sure knew a thing or two about writing a story. One of his most popular and beloved works, Romeo and Juliet, inspired the story of Tony and Maria, two young lovers whose happiness is destroyed by the rivalry between two enemy camps in New York City’s concrete jungle. The “Jets”, sons of previous immigrants to America, battle the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the “Sharks”, to control the streets in an epic and heartbreaking tale.

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3. Steven Spielberg is about to direct a blockbuster adaptation for the big screen

You may have seen the 10-time Oscar winning 1961 musical adaptation of West Side Story, a film which has helped keep this iconic musical firmly in the public imagination over the decades. But did you know that Steven Spielberg is about to start filming a remake for release in December 2020? With Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) and Maddie Ziegler set to star, and reports that the story will be more similar to the musical than the previous film, you’d better get along to the Opera House for an idea of what to expect.

Untitled design 2019 05 28T112541.436 Photo credit: Jeff Busby

4. Ground-breaking dancing and songs that will get firmly stuck in your head.

Full of verve, imagination and excitement, the dancing and choreography in West Side Story has to be seen to be believed. An international cast of over thirty incredible performers will bring this classic story to life each night, including two of our very own, with Kiwis Jason Yang-Westland and Blake Tuke (cousin of Olympic sailor Blair Tuke) in the ensemble. When it comes to the music, Bernstein’s world-famous score features an array of unforgettable songs. ‘Maria’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘America’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’ are songs that have been universally adored for generations, songs that feel as fresh as ever and are sure to find their way on to your playlists for weeks afterwards.

Untitled design 2019 05 28T112559.374 Photo credit: Jeff Busby

5. Wellington is the only place in New Zealand where you can experience the musical event of the year

West Side Story arrives in Wellington for a New Zealand exclusive season, and it’s a seriously limited engagement, with only 14 opportunities to catch it at the Opera House. So act fast or be prepared for serious FOMO when it’s gone. Once it leaves the shores of Aotearoa, this incredible production will head to Germany before gracing the Sydney Opera House stage in August. But why go all the way to Sydney when you can see it here first? With extra tickets just being released, get your tickets here now.

Opera Australia WEST SIDE STORY photo Jeff Busby 3136 1600W

West Side Story

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, West Side Story will play an exclusive and limited season at Wellington's Opera House.

Add your comment

  • J Potter on 13 Jun 2019

    I loved it

  • Skalk on 8 Jun 2019

    At the opening there were photos taken out side. How does one get hold of these.

  • Raewyn Whyte on 30 May 2019

    Got my tickets all sorted, can't wait!

  • Jane on 29 May 2019

    Can't wait for this one! Didn't know about the movie about to be made.

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