A Place for Us: “West Side Story” and New York by Julia L. Foulkes

By Julia L. Foulkes

From its Broadway debut to the Oscar-winning movie to numerous novice productions, West aspect Story is not anything under an American touchstone—an updating of Shakespeare vividly discovered in a quickly altering postwar New York.

That imaginative and prescient of postwar long island is on the center of Julia L. Foulkes’s A position for Us. A lifelong fan of the convey, Foulkes got interested in its historical past while she made an unforeseen discovery: scenes for the enduring movie model have been shot at the demolition web site destined to develop into a part of the Lincoln middle redevelopment area—a crowning jewel of postwar city renewal. Foulkes interweaves the tale of the construction of the musical and movie with the remaking of the higher West aspect and the bigger story of recent York’s postwar aspirations. Making unparalleled use of director and choreographer Jerome Robbins’s revelatory papers, she indicates the the most important function performed by way of the political commitments of Robbins and his fellow homosexual, Jewish collaborators, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents. Their selection to awaken lifestyles in long island because it used to be truly lived helped supply West aspect Story its unshakable feel of position at the same time it recommend a imaginative and prescient of a brand new, full of life, determinedly multicultural American city.

Beautifully written and entire of surprises for even the main devoted West part Story fan, A position for Us is a revelatory new exploration of an American classic.

 

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