The tragedy of love thwarted by fate has always intrigued writers. In the sixteenth century, William Shakespeare took this theme and fashioned one of the world's great plays: Romeo And Juliet. In our own time, Shakespeare's drama has been used as a basis for the overwhelmingly successful musical play West Side Story. Though one of these works is set among the nobility of Verona, and the other among immigrant families of New York's West Side, both tell the story of the plight of young star-crossed" lovers.
As Norris Houghton writes in his introduction: "What we see is that all four young people strive to consummate the happiness at the threshold on which they stand and which they have tasted so briefly. All four are deprived of the opportunity to do so, the Renaissance couple by the caprice of fate, today's youngsters by the prejudice and hatred engendered around them....
"Poets and playwrights will continue to write of youthful lovers whom fate drives into and out of each other's lives. The spectacle will always trouble and move us, even as the two dramas in this volume do today."
If you love musicals, plays, and the like, this is for you!
By A Customer - April 16, 1999
I have been hooked on musicals and plays in general since before I can remember. When I first found this book, I couldn't believe my eyes, I got the script for West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet together in one volume, so I had the words to all my favorite songs and I could study the varied, hilarious lines too. I could relieve the thrills of watching the play, or just reread my favorite scenes. If you're the least bit like me, you'll love this too.
Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story
By A Customer - December 19, 1998
A great word-for-word rendition of both plays. It was especially helpful to me, because I had a research paper comparing the two.
A logical pairing of 2 great theatrical works
By Michael J. Mazza - December 5, 2002
This is two books in one: the text of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" and the text of "West Side Story," the 20th century musical with a book by Arthur Laurents and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The book also includes an introduction by Norris Houghton, who notes, among other things, that WSS is based on R&J. Each text tells the story of a love affair between a young woman and a young man who are caught between warring factions.I find it stimulating and useful to have these two pieces, linked in theme but separated by centuries, together in one volume. Each is a great text on its own, but having them together may help the reader to see each piece in a different light. One of the things I find most striking as one moves from R&J to WSS is how the latter text adds the element of ethnic tension to the fundamental story of "star-crossed lovers."R&J is more than just a classic piece of literature; it's also a touchstone of pop... read more
(Vocal Selections). This revised edition celebrates the legacy of one of the most famous musicals of all time with 13 newly engraved songs, a show biography and plot notes, facsimiles of Bernstein's ...