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West Side Story is a popular Broadway musical. The show has been referenced/performed numerous times throughout the run of Glee. In Season Three it was William McKinley High School's annual school musical, and several members of the Glee Club played major roles in the production.

On Glee

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In Season One it was referenced in the episode Preggers where Rachel demands to receive all the solos in West Side Story, but Mr. Schue gives Tonight to Tina, leading Rachel to quit the Glee Club for the production of Cabaret.

In Season Two the second song from West Side Story is sung when Rachel and Quinn sing a mash-up of the songs I Feel Pretty from the musical and Unpretty by TLC in the episode Born This Way.

In Season Three it is revealed in the first episode that the school musical for the year will be West Side Story. In I Am Unicorn Rachel wants to audition for the role of Maria with the song I Feel Pretty, but her biological mother Shelby Corcoran advises her to sing Somewhere and Rachel agrees, singing with her and after in her audition. Kurt auditions for the role of Tony with the song I'm The Greatest Star, but the directors (Beiste, Emma and Artie) thinks that he is too feminine for the role. Later Blaine decides to sing Something's Coming while auditioning for the role of Bernardo or Officer Krupke, but Artie asks Blaine if he wants to read for Tony, leading Blaine into a dilemma. In Asian F, Mercedes has had enough of all the time Rachel gets the solos, so she auditions with Spotlight, while Mike Chang really wants to be a dancer, and Shannon says that all the jokers will audition for the Jets, so Mike ignoring his father's instructions auditions with Cool where the McKinley Titans join him. A Maria-Off takes place in the audition with the song Out Here On My Own to decide who will get the role. The directors says that Mercedes did a great job, so they decide to put them both in the role, but Mercedes doesn't agree and leaves the show, causing Rachel to get the role of Maria. The Cast List is posted where we discover that Blaine got the role of Tony, Santana will be Anita and Mike will be Riff. In The First Time, the musical is finally shown. First we can see Blaine "Tony" and Rachel "Maria" rehearsing Tonight, later we can see Santana and Rachel rehearsing for the A Boy Like That/I Have A Love performance. Rachel also states that the show is a success and the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion will be full house during the performances. We only can watch America and One Hand, One Heart performances.

Songs featured from West Side Story

Season One

From Preggers:

Season Two

From Born This Way:

Season Three

From I Am Unicorn:

From Asian F:

From The First Time:



In Production/Rehearsal

On Broadway

West Side Story is an American musical with a script by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Set in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a white working-class group.[1] The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the 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 score for the musical has become extremely popular; it includes "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."

The original 1957 Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Stephen Sondheim's Broadway debut. It ran for 732 performances (a successful run for the time), before going on tour. The production received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical in 1957, but the award went to Meredith Willson's The Music Man. It won a 1957 Tony Award for Robbins' choreography. The show had an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals and international productions. The play spawned an innovative 1961 musical film of the same name, directed by Robert Wise and Robbins, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn and David Winters. The film won ten Academy Awards out of eleven nominations. The stage musical is produced frequently by schools, regional theatres, and occasionally by opera companies.


Act 1

Two teenage gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, struggle for control of the neighborhood, amidst police whistles and taunts (Prologue). They are warned by Lt. Schrank and Officer Krupke to stop fighting on their beat. The police chase the Sharks off, and then the Jets plan how they can assure their continued dominance of the street. The Jets' leader, Riff, suggests setting up a rumble with the Sharks. He plans to make the challenge to Bernardo, the Sharks' leader, that night at the neighborhood dance. Riff wants to convince his friend and former member of the Jets, Tony, to meet the Jets at the dance, but some of the Jets are unsure of his loyalty ("Jet Song"). Riff meets Tony while he's working at Doc's Drugstore to persuade him to come. Loyal to Riff, Tony agrees, but he wants no further part of gang life and imagines a better future ("Something's Coming").

Maria works in a bridal shop with Anita, the girlfriend of her brother, Bernardo. Maria has just arrived from Puerto Rico, and her family has selected Chino, a member of the Sharks, to be her future husband. Anita makes Maria a dress to wear to the neighborhood dance. At the dance, after introductions, the teenagers begin to dance; soon a challenge dance is called ("Dance at the Gym"), during which Tony and Maria (who aren't taking part in the challenge dance) see each other across the room and are drawn to each other. They dance together, forgetting the tension in the room, fall in love, and try to kiss, but Bernardo pulls his sister from Tony and sends her home. Riff and Bernardo agree to meet for a War Council at Doc's, a drug store which is considered neutral ground, but meanwhile, an infatuated and happy Tony finds Maria's building and serenades her outside her bedroom ("Maria"). He appears on her fire escape, and the two profess their love for one another ("Tonight"). Meanwhile, Anita and the other Shark girls discuss the differences between the territory of Puerto Rico and the mainland United States of America ("América"). The Jets get antsy while waiting for the Sharks inside Doc's Drug Store. They let out all of their aggression that they might exhibit in a large, angry dance ("Cool") The Sharks arrive to discuss weapons to use in the rumble. Tony suggests "a fair fight" (fists only), which the leaders agree to, despite the other members' protests. Bernardo believes that he will fight Tony, but must settle for fighting Diesel instead. This is followed by a monologue by the ineffective Lt. Schrank trying to find out the location of the rumble. Tony tells Doc about Maria. Doc is worried for them while Tony is convinced that nothing can go wrong; he is in love.

Tony meets Maria at the bridal shop the next day, where they dream of their wedding ("One Hand, One Heart"). She asks Tony to stop the fight, which he agrees to do. Tony, Maria, Anita, Bernardo (and the Sharks), and Riff (and the Jets) all anticipate the events to come that night ("Tonight Quintet"). The gangs meet each other under the highway, and as the fight between Bernardo and Diesel is just beginning, Tony arrives and tries to stop the rumble. Though Bernardo taunts Tony, ridiculing his attempt to make peace and provoking him in every way, Tony keeps his composure. When Bernardo pushes Tony, Riff punches him in Tony's defense. The two draw their switchblades and get in a knife fight ("The Rumble"). Tony warns Riff to back away, but Riff shakes him off and continues the fight. In an important moment of the show, Riff has an opportunity to stab Bernardo, but Tony holds him back leaving Riff vulnerable. Bernardo stabs Riff. Tony then kills Bernardo in a fit of rage. The two gangs then go into a free-for-all. The sound of approaching sirens is heard, and everyone scatters, except Tony, who stands in shock at what he has done. The tomboy Anybodys, who stubbornly wishes that she could become a Jet, tells Tony to flee from the scene at the last moment. Only the bodies of Riff and Bernardo remain.

Act 2

In her bedroom, Maria has not heard the news and daydreams happily about seeing Tony with her friends—Rosalia, Consuelo, Teresita and Francisca ("I Feel Pretty"). Just then, Chino brings the news that Tony has killed Bernardo. Maria flees to her bedroom, praying that Chino is mistaken. Tony arrives to see Maria, and in a fit of rage she throws her fists at him until he finally calms her down and they plan to run away together; as the walls of Maria's bedroom disappear, they find themselves in a dreamlike world of peace ("Somewhere"). They begin to make love.

The Jets try their hardest to get their minds off the death of Riff by poking fun at all of the adults who try to make sense of what they do, ("Gee, Officer Krupke"). The Jets make Action leader of the gang. Anybodys brings news that she overheard Chino planning to hunt down Tony and kill him with a gun. The Jets then spread out to find Tony and protect him from Chino. They also accept Anybodys into the Jets. Anybodys falls in love with Action.

A grieving Anita arrives at Maria's apartment. As Tony leaves, he tells Maria to meet him at Doc's so they can run away to the country. Anita sees that Tony has been with Maria, and asks in horror how she can love the man who killed her brother ("A Boy Like That/I Have A Love"). Maria responds passionately with her own song ("I Have a Love"), though, and Anita understands that Maria loves Tony as much as she had loved Bernardo. She admits that Chino has a gun and is looking for Tony.

Lt. Schrank arrives to question Maria, and Anita reluctantly agrees to go to Doc's to tell Tony to wait. At the store, the Jets taunt Anita with racist innuendo and insults. The taunts turn into physical abuse, and Doc returns to the store horrified to find the boys nearly raping Anita. In her anger, Anita, who is in tears, tells the Jets that Bernardo was right about them, and then claims that Chino has killed Maria in jealousy. Anita rushes out of the store. Doc relates the news to Tony, who has been dreaming of heading to the countryside to have children with Maria. Feeling there is no longer anything to live for, Tony leaves to find Chino, begging for him to die as well. Just as Tony sees Maria alive, Chino arrives and shoots Tony. The Jets, Sharks, and adults flock around the lovers. Maria holds Tony in her arms (and sings a quiet, brief reprise of "Somewhere") as he dies. Angry at the death of another friend, the Jets move towards the Sharks but Maria takes Chino's gun and tells everyone that hatred is what killed Tony and the others, and now she can kill, because now she hates, too. However, she is unable to bring herself to fire the gun and drops it, crying in grief. Gradually, all the members of both gangs assemble on either side of Tony's body, showing that the feud is over. The Jets and Sharks form a procession, and together they carry Tony away. Maria follows along behind.


The Jets

  • Riff: leader/co-founder of the Jets
  • Tony: a former Jet, the co-founder of the Jets, falls in love with Maria
  • Action: easily angered and excited
  • A-Rab: Baby John's big brother figure
  • Baby John: the youngest of the Jets, A-Rab's best friend
  • Diesel: toughest of the gang, tall and muscular
  • Ice: cool, calm, collected (film version only)
  • Snowboy
  • Big Deal
  • Gee-Tar
  • Tiger
  • Mouthpiece

The Sharks

  • Bernardo: the leader of the Sharks
  • Chino: young and shy, attracted to Maria
  • Pepe: Bernardo's right hand man, Consuelo's boyfriend
  • Indio: quiet, Rosalia's boyfriend
  • Others: Luis, Anxious, Toro, Nibbles, Moose and Juano

The Adults

  • Officer Krupke: a neighborhood police officer
  • Doc: owner of the Drug Store
  • Lt. Schrank: the precinct's nasty police lieutenant
  • Glad Hand: social worker and chaperone at the dance

Jet Girls

  • Velma: Riff's girlfriend in the play, Ice's girlfriend in the film
  • Graziella: Diesel's girlfriend in the play, Riff's girlfriend in the film
  • Anybodys: a tomboy who wishes to become a Jet
  • Minnie: Baby John's girlfriend
  • Clarice
  • Pauline: A-Rab's girlfriend in the Australian production

Shark Girls

  • Maria: Bernardo's sister, falls in love with Tony
  • Anita: Bernardo's girlfriend
  • Consuelo: Shark girl with dyed blonde hair, Pepe's girlfriend
  • Rosalia: who wants to return to Puerto Rico, Indio's girlfriend
  • Francisca: a young, quirky girl who is not very bright, Luis' girlfriend, hangs out with Maria, Rosalia, and Consuelo
  • Teresita (film version only)
  • Estella
  • Margarita


Act 1

  • Overture (Instrumental)
  • "Prologue" (Instrumental) – Jets and Sharks
  • "Jet Song" – Riff, Action, Baby John, A-rab, Big Deal and Jets
  • "Something's Coming" – Tony
  • "Dance At The Gym" (Instrumental) – Jets and Sharks
  • "Maria" – Tony
  • "Tonight" – Tony and Maria
  • "America" – Anita, Rosalia, Shark Girls,
  • "Cool" –Ice and Jets
  • "One Hand, One Heart" – Tony and Maria
  • "Tonight Quintet and Chorus" – Anita, Tony, Maria, Bernardo, Riff, Jets and Sharks
  • "The Rumble" (Dance) – Jets and Sharks

Act 2

  • "I Feel Pretty" ("Me Siento Hermosa" in the 2009 revival) – Maria, Consuelo, Rosalia, Teresita, Francisca and Shark Girls.
  • "Somewhere" (Song and Dance) – Company and "Dream Consuelo" (in the 2009 revival, "Kiddo," Tony, Maria, and Company)
  • "Gee, Officer Krupke" – Action, A-rab, Diesel, Baby John and the Jets
  • "A Boy Like That/I Have A Love" ("Un Hombre Así" in the 2009 revival) / "I Have A Love" – Anita and Maria
  • "Taunting Scene" (Instrumental) – Anita and Jets
  • "Finale" – Tony and Maria


  • All of those who auditioned with a piece from West Side Story (Rachel, Blaine, Mike), achieved the role they pursued.
  • McKinley High's performance of the musical would actually be strictly forbidden in real life by Music Theatre International, the company that licenses the show for performances by amateur theatre groups, companies or organizations. MTI states to the licensee that, under Federal Copyright Law, no changes of any kind can be made to the musical's original book, songs (including the order of the songs in the show) or story. They also note that the license for the musical does not give permission to perform the 1961 film version, in part or in whole. Changing the line "You came with your pants open", used in the stage musical, to the film's version, "You came with your mouth open", and adding the male Sharks and the Jets into the performance of "America" are both forbidden, among other things. Doing so would be violating the Production Contract between the theatre group performing the show and MTI. Source


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