Dec. 10, 2019, won't, to borrow from some of Stephen Sondheim's most famous lyrics, "be just any night." That's when a new production of the Sondheim-Arthur Laurents-Leonard Bernstein masterwork "West Side Story" starts previews on Broadway, with avant-garde Belgian director Ivo van Hove at the helm.
Expect a radical rethinking, as with his recent 2015-16 Broadway interpretations of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge," for which he won a directing Tony Award, and "The Crucible." The production team, headed by Scott Rudin, is also bringing in a new choreographer, Belgian Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, to rework the Jerome Robbins choreography that many dance lovers hold sacred.
"We want to bring it ["Story"] into the 21st century," van Hove told The Hollywood Reporter and "you cannot do that without also looking at the choreography."
In a statement, Sondheim said he is eager "to see what van Hove does with" the show, which is set to open Feb. 6, 2020, in a theater to be determined. "What keeps theater alive over time," said Sondheim, "is reinterpretation."