Hollywood Bowl Adds WEST SIDE STORY and Composer A.R. Rahman to 2011 Season

By February 15, 2011 No Comments


The Hollywood Bowl, whose previously announced lineup included the Broadway hit Hairspray and The Sound of Music as well as Michael Feinstein featuring performers such as Dick Van Dyke, Cheyenne Jackson, Vanessa Willians and more, has added two more events: WEST SIDE STORY and composer A.R. Rahman.

July 8th and 9th will showcase WEST SIDE STORY. In honor of the 50th anniversary of MGM’s iconic 1961 musical film – winner of ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture – the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays Leonard Bernstein’s electrifying score and memorable songs with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim live, while the newly re-mastered film is shown in glorious high definition on the Bowl’s big screen with the original vocals and dialog intact.

The classic romantic tragedy West Side Story, one of the greatest achievements in the history of movie musicals, features choreography by Jerome Robbins, a screenplay by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Leonard Bernstein. It is a modern day adaptation of the timeless classic, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Both stories center around two young people in love, but kept apart by the prejudices of their friends and families. Set in New York City in the mid 1950’s, West Side Story explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, and the ill-fated romance between Tony, a member of the Jets, and Maria, sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein’s iconic score for the musical includes the enduring classics “Something’s Coming,” “Maria,” “America,” “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Jet Song,” “I Feel Pretty,” “A Boy Like That,” “One Hand, One Heart,” “Gee, Officer Krupke” and “Cool.”

Then, on July 10, India’s most prolific and successful movie composer (five time Oscar nominee including 127 Hours, and two Oscar wins for Slumdog Millionaire), A.R. Rahman returns for an evening of his atmospheric film scores – performed by the LA Phil and enhanced by scenes from his films – plus traditional Indian music and some of Rahman’s spectacular Bollywood hits, with dancers.

A.R. Rahman, the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music, is the pride of the Indian nation and a role model for millions around the world. In a country where film music is the most popular form of music, Rahman is truly the emperor. A.R. Rahman, hailed by Time as the ‘Mozart of Madras,’ is one of the most successful artists of all time and, according to a BBC estimate, has sold more than 100 million albums of his works, comprising music from more than 50 movies.