West Side Story at the Pantages Theatre, Still Relevant and Powerful


“West Side Story” National Touring Company.

One of the theater’s most powerful musicals, West Side Story is at the Pantages Theatre now through January 2. Loved by generations since its debut more than fifty years ago, the timeless love story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents modernized it by turning rival families into rival gangs. And the Jets and the Sharks sing and dance to the brilliant Bernstein and Sondheim score. Jerome Robbins’ choreography, well-remembered from the movie, was reproduced by Joey McKneely for the Broadway revival.

The songs “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “Maria,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty,” and the poignant “Somewhere,” are brought to life with the current crop of exciting young performers in the show. Among them is Lauren Boyd, a local lady who went to the Pantages Theatre as a kid.

“I said to myself, ‘One day I’m going to be on that stage,’” Boyd said.

She did shows at the Covina Valley Playhouse, and then went on to make her Broadway debut with West Side Story. Now as part of the national tour (as Bebecita, always seen in lavender dresses) her dream of performing at the Pantages has come true.

“It’s a homecoming for me. I couldn’t be happier that I’m here for the holidays,” Boyd said. “It’s a joy to be part of a classic that speaks to all of us. It’s relevant with its themes of love and family loyalty. Along with the beautiful music, that’s why West Side Story has stood the test of time.”

The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 468-1770 or (800) 982-ARTS (2787). Tickets range from $25 to $90.

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