West Side Story, Brand New

The 1957 Broadway hit West Side Story is an icon of musical theater. It sets Romeo and Juliet on the streets of NYC, where the rivalry between two teenage gangs — Puerto Rican and white — dooms the love between Maria and Tony. When it first opened, its gritty theme of urban gang violence set a new tone for the musical stage. The show has, on occasion, aroused controversy over perceived racial stereotyping. Now, a PACE production at the Academy of Music in Northampton seeks to bring this 50-year-old masterpiece, and its explosive themes, up to date.