Before Tupac and Biggies East Coast-West Coast throwdowns spilled onto the streets of New York, another turf war in Gotham, four decades prior, was far more captivating than the mid-90s rap scuffles. It made for better music, to boot.
Were speaking of West Side Story and its classic Broadway showdown between the knife-wielding and finger-snapping Jets and Sharks. The epic musical twists and transforms the tale of Romeo and Juliet by setting it in Harlem with rumbles between street gangs replacing the Capulet-Montague feud. The forbidden love between Maria, a recent Puerto Rican immigrant, and the Jet-affiliated Tony is brought to life spectacularly with lyrics from Stephen Sondheim and music from Leonard Bernstein.
West Side Storys touring production rolls into Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe, for a two-week run starting on Tuesday, September.
Tue., Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 1, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 2, 1 & 6:30 p.m., 2011