West Side Story is a 1957 Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, about a gang war between a group of Puerto Rican immigrants (the Sharks) and working class white kids (the Jets) in 1950s New York City. The musical, which was conceived and directed by Jerome Robbins, is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, went on to win the Academy Award for best picture when it was released as a motion picture in 1961.
Songs Performed in Muppet Productions
- -The Ed Sullivan Show, April 30, 1967
- -Performed by an Anything Muppet woman on Julie on Sesame Street
- -episode 109 of The Muppet Show
- -Excerpted in Julie on Sesame Street
- "Inside/Outside Story" on "Monsterpiece Theater", which featured Anything Muppet parodies of the two main characters, Tony and Maria, singing a parody of "Tonight."
- A 2007 "Ready To Learn" commercial, which parodied "The Jet Song." Instead of the two gangs preparing to brawl, however, Ernie and Theo (from Between the Lions) illustrate to the Kids how rhyming can enhance reading abilities.
- The show was parodied as "Veg Side Story" in a "Dinner Theatre" sketch on Sesame Street, with a parody of the song "Maria." When the lead character, Tony, deems zucchini cool, the scene is briefly scored with a riff from "Cool."
- "Maria" was parodied on the video Big Bird Gets Lost.
- In Sesame Street episode 3839, when Telly and Rosita call for Maria's help, Bolo the parrot sings a brief part of the song "Maria."
- On Sesamestreet.org, a video playlist about Maria and Luis is advertised as "Luis Met a Girl Named Maria", a reference to the song "Maria".
- A "Global Thingy" segment spoofs the musical where a gang of tough Thingys refuse to return a ball.
- In The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Huxley says, "I almost performed in the bus and truck tour of West Side Story. They said I wasn't right for Maria. What do they know. I feel pretty."
- In his book Before You Leap, Kermit says a few amphibians find work in showbiz thanks to little theatre productions of "Wet Side Story."
- In What's the Name of That Song?, a group of animated letters and numbers sing about who's better with songs that spoof the "Jet Song" from the musical.
- In the waiting area for the Sesame Place stage show Elmo the Musical, a poster hangs for the show "West Side Story."
- A music sting in Episode 3715 of Sesame Street is based on "Maria" from the musical. Another sting heard in episode 3766 mimics the tune as well.
- Debbie Allen played Anita in the 1980 Broadway revival
- John Astin played Gladhand in the film version
- Randy Cohen was keyboard programmer for the 2009 Broadway revival
- Victoria Mallory played Maria in the Lincoln Center revival
- Lin-Manuel Miranda provided the translations for the 2009 Broadway revival
- Rita Moreno played Anita in the film version
- Jaime Sánchez originated the role of Chino on Broadway