'West Side Story' sets a March 19 Opening date

NEW YORK (AP) -- The highly anticipated revival of "West Side Story" has found a theater and set an opening date on Broadway.

The classic New York musical about the Sharks, the Jets and the ill-fated love affair involving two people caught between the gangs will open March 19 at the Palace Theatre. Preview performances begin there Feb. 23.

Casting will be announced shortly.

The show, which has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents, will play an out-of-town engagement Dec. 15-Jan. 17 at Washington's National Theatre. Laurents will direct and Joey McKneely will restage Jerome Robbins' original choreography.

"West Side Story," loosely based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," originally starred Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera. It was first seen on Broadway in 1957. The Academy Award-winning movie featured Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno. The last Broadway revival was in 1980.

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