I first was introduced to the music to West Side Story back in the summer of 1962, prior to entering the sixth grade, while attending day camp out west. One of the girls in the group I was in received a copy of the LP Album of the original Broadway stage soundtrack of West Side Story, brought it in and played it for the group, and my love for the music took off right then and there. West Side Story mania was in the air. Kids would walk around snapping their fingers and sing all the WSS songs on the bus on the way to and from camp each day. I didn't see the movie WSS until Christmastime 1968, when I was a high school Senior, when I fell in love with it immediately.
Four years later, when it came back on TV, I was in a jewelry-making class at a prominent art school in our area, when somebody had brought a small black-and-white TV into class, due to the airing of West Side Story, which we all gathered around to watch. That summer, when I went on a 6-week trip to Europe, someone in the group I was with had brought along a cassette tape of the WSS movie soundtrack, which was played almost every evening during free time, re-awakening and re-enforcing my love for this great golden oldie-but-goody film classic. Shortly after arriving home from Europe, I mentioned my wish to see the film West Side Story again to my (late) dad over dinner. Our brief conversation went like this:
Me: Gee, I wish I could see the movie West Side Story again.
Dad: You never forgot it, did you?
That fall, two days before Thanksgiving, West Side Story once again made a rendez-vous on TV, and I stayed home to watch it.
Need I say that I've been hooked on West Side Story ever since?
Since then, I have seen the film West Side Story over 30 times, in great big wide screens in movie theatres, both in and out of state (yes, I've even made a number of road trips out of state to see the film West Side Story, including the 40th year anniversary screening of it at Radio City Music Hall, and another screening of WSS five years later at NYC's Ziegfeld Cinema) and on TV, when it's been aired. Plus, I've also seen at least 4 very good stage productions of this dynamic musical, also. All in all, West Side Story has remained my alltime favorite movie, and a hard, hard film for me to resist.
Excuse my rambling!
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