“West Side Story” is coming back to Broadway in December 2019, helmed by Ivo van Hove.
The musical, produced by Scott Rudin, will feature new choreography from Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. This is the first Broadway musical for van Hove, who was chosen by lyricist Stephen Sondheim and the estate of book writer Arthur Laurents because of his unique style.
“This is Ivo van Hove’s first Broadway musical, and I’m eager to see what he does with it. What keeps theater alive over time is reinterpretation, and when that reinterpretation is as invigorating as his productions of ‘A View From the Bridge‘ and ‘The Crucible’, it makes for something to look forward to with excitement,” Sondheim said in the press release.
“Arthur always believed the only reason to revive ‘West Side Story’ on Broadway was to bring a new perspective to the material. Ivo van Hove is sure to do just that,” David Saint, literary executor of the Arthur Laurents Estate, said in the press release.
Van Hove won a Tony Award in 2016 for his direction of “A View From the Bridge.”
The revival will begin performances on Dec. 10, 2019 with an official opening night on Feb. 6, 2020 at a theater to be announced. The last revival opened March 19, 2009 at the Palace Theatre.
In addition to van Hove’s play credits, he directed the musical “Lazarus” off-Broadway in 2015 and off-West End in 2016, as well as a Dutch version of “Rent” in Amsterdam in 2000. He also has several opera credits.
Jan Versweyveld, a longtime collaborator of van Hove, will design the scenery and lighting.
Jamie Bernstein, the daughter of the show’s composer, Leonard Bernstein, said she and the Bernstein siblings also saw a timeliness to the revival.
“This show’s theme of love destroyed by hatred and intolerance is as poignant today as it was in Shakespeare’s time – but the story line involving the mistreatment of Puerto Rican immigrants makes ‘West Side Story’ more timely now than ever. ‘Nobody knows in America/Puerto Rico’s IN America!’”