My sister Leslie noted on Facebook recently that the movie West Side Story opened this month, specifically October 18, back in 1961. We saw it together with our mother and our baby sister Marcia.
It assuredly wasn’t in 1961, but it was in a movie theater, and we were still kids under 11. I remember that the ticket seller thought the film was too intense for the children, especially the youngest.
West Side Story remains my favorite musical, one I know quite well, and I saw a splendid rendering in western Massachusetts in the summer of 2018. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Will Go Back to Basics. “Screenwriter Tony Kushner explains that the new movie will take its cues from the original Broadway show, not the Oscar-winning 1961 film—and that ‘no one will leave the movie without hearing all the classic songs.'”
On November 2, First Friday at First Presbyterian Church will feature 100 years of Leonard Bernstein. The choir, including guest singers, and instrumentalists, will be performing the Chichester Psalms (1965), which is “tuneful, tonal and contemporary, featuring modal melodies and unusual meters.” The text is from Psalms 108, 100, 23, 2, 131, and 133.
There will also be selections from other Leonard Bernstein works, including Mass, Candide, On the Town and the aforementioned West Side Story.
In the gallery, the Oakwood Artists will be doing a pop-up show.
The gallery opens at 5:30 p.m. The concert starts at 6:00 p.m.
This is a free and family-friendly event.
First Presbyterian Church of Albany
362 State St at the corner of Willett St
across from Washington Park
Albany, New York 12210
Some Bernstein conducting
Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Gary Graffman, piano, recorded with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1964.
Academic Festival Overture by Brahms, with a great Lenny anecdote