|WEST SIDE STORY
WEST SIDE STORY was first presented by Robert E. Griffith and
Harold S. Prince, by arrangement with Roger L. Stevens, at the
Winter Garden, New York City, September 26, 1957, with the
RIFF, the leader-Mickey Calin
TONY, his friend-Larry Kert
BABY JOHN-David Winters
BIG DEAL-Martin Charnin
BERNARDO, the leader-Ken Le Roy
MARIA, his sister-Carol Lawrence
ANITA, his girl-Chita Rivera
CHINO, his friend-Jamie Sanchez
LUIS-Al De Sio
GLAD HAND-John Harkins
PROLOGUE: THE MONTHS BEFORE
5:00 P.M., The Street
5:30 P.M., A Back Yard
6:00 P.M., A Bridal Shop
10:00 P.M., The Gym
11:00 P.M., A Back Alley
MIDNIGHT, The Drugstore
THE NEXT DAY
9:15 P.M., The Bridal Shop
6:00 to 9:00 P.M., The Neighborhood
9:00 P.M., Under the Highway
9:15 P.M., A Bedroom
10:00 P.M., Another Alley
11:30 P.M., The Bedroom
11:40 P.M., The Drugstore
11:50 P.M., The Cellar
MIDNIGHT, The Street
PROLOGUE, Danced by the Jets and Shark
JET SONG, Riff and Jets
SOMEHING'S COMING, Tony
THE DANCE AT THE GYM
TONIGHT, Tony and Maria
AMERICA, Anita, Rosalia, and Shark Girls
COOL, Riff and the Jets
ONE HAND, ONE HEART, Tony and Maria
TONIGHT (Quintet and Chorus), Company
THE RUMBLE, Riff, Bernardo, Jets and Sharks
I FEEL PRETTY, Maria, Rosalia, Teresita, Francisca
SOMEWHERE, Danced by Company; Sung by Consuelo
GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE, Action, Snowboy, and Jets
A BOY LIKE THAT, Anita and Maria
I HAVE A LOVE, Anita and Maria
TAUNTING, Anita and the Jets
5:00 P.M. The Street.
A suggestion of city streets and alleyways: a brick wall.
The opening is musical: half-danced, half-mimed, with
occasional phrases of dialogue. It is primarily a condensation of
the growing rivalry between two teen-age games, the Jets and the
Sharks, each of which has its own prideful uniform. The boys -
sideburned, long-haired- are vital, restless, sardonic; the
Sharks are Puerto Ricans, the Jets an anthology of what is called
The action begins with the Jets in possession of the are:
owning, enjoying, loving their "home." Their leader is Riff:
glowing, driving, intelligent, slightly wacky. His lieutenant is
Deisel: big, slow, steady, nice. The youngest member of the gang
is Baby John: awed at everything including that he is a Jet,
trying to act the big man. His buddy is A-rab: an explosive
little ferret who enjoys everything and understands the
seriousness of nothing. The most aggressive is Action: a catlike
ball of fury. We will get to know these boys better later, as
well as Snowboy: a bespectacled self-styled expert.
The first interruption of the Jets' sunny mood is the
sharply punctuated entrance of the leader of the Sharks,
Bernardo: handsome proud, fluid, a chip on his sardonic shoulder.
The Jets, by far in the majority, flick him off. He returns with
other Sharks: they, too, are flicked off. But the numerical
supremacy, the strength of the Jets, is gradually being
threatened. The beginnings of warfare are mild at first: a boy
being tripped up, or being sandbagged with a flour sack or even
being spit on -all with overly elaborate apologies.
Finally, A-rab comes across the suddenly deserted area,
pretending to be an airplane. There is no sound as he zooms along
in fancied flight. Then over the wall drops Bernardo. Another
Shark, another and another appear, blocking A-rab's panicky
efforts at escape. They close in, grab him, pummel him, as a
Shark on top of the wall is stationed as lookout. Finally,
Bernardo bends over A-rab and makes a gesture (piercing his ear);
the lookout whistles; Jets tear on, Sharks tear on, and a free-
for-all breaks out. Riff goes at once to A-rab, like a protective
father. The fight is stopped by a police whistle, louder and
louder, and the arrival of a big goonlike cop, Krupke, and a
plainclothesman, Schrank. Schrank is strong, always in command;
he has a charming, pleasant manner, which he often employs to
cover his venom and his fear.
Knock it off! Settle down.
All right: Kill each other! ...But not on my beat.
RIFF [such innocence]
Why if it isn't Lieutenant Schrank.
SEVERAL JETS [dancing class manners]
To of the day, Lieutenant Schrank.
BERNARDO [one with Riff]
And Officer Krupke!
Top of the day, Officer Krupke.
Boy, what you Puerto Ricans have done to this neighborhood. Which
one of 'em clobbered ya, A-rab?
[A-rab looks to Riff, who takes over with great helpful
As a matter of factuality, sir, we suspicion the job was done by
Oh, at least!
Didn't nobody tell ya there's a difference between bein' a stool
pigeon and cooperatin' with the law?
You told us the difference, sir. And we all chipped in for a
prize for the first guy who can figure it out.
ACTION [indicating Schrank]
Maybe buddy boy should get the prize.
Don't buddy me, Action! I got a hot surprise for you: you
hoodlums don't own the streets. There's been too much raiding
between you and the PRs. All right, Bernardo, get your trash outa
here. [Mock Charm.] Please.
Let's go, Sharks. [They
SCHRANK [to Jets]
If I don't put down the roughhouse, I get put down -on a traffic
corner. Your friends don't like traffic corners. So you buddy
boys are gonna play ball with me. I gotta put up with them and so
do you. You're gonna make nice with them PRs from now on. Because
otherwise I'm gonna beat the crap outa every one of ya and then
run ya in. Say good-bye to the nice boys, Krupke.
Good-bye, boys. [He follows
SNOWBOY [imitating Krupke]
They make a very nice couple.
You hoodlums don't own the streets.
Go play in the park!
Keep off the grass!
Get outa the house!
Keep off the block!
Get outa here!
Keep off the world! A gang that down own a street is nuthin'!
WE DO OWN IT! Jets -square off! Acemen: [Diesel, Action and
Snowboy line up at attention] Rocketmen: [three others line up]
[Sheepishly, A-rab trudges into position, Baby John behind
BABY JOHN [shocked, to A-rab]
Gee, your ear's got blood on it!
I'm a casual, Baby John.
BABY JOHN [examining the ear]
Them PRs! They branded you!
That makes you a Puerto Rican tomato. Cha-cha-cha, señorita?
Cut the frabbajabba. Which one of the Sharks did it?
Bernardo. 'Cause I heard him say: "Thees ees for stink-bombin' my
old man's store." [He makes the same gesture Bernardo made when
he pierced his ear.]
You shoulda done worse. Them PRs're the reason my old man's gone
My old man says.
BABY JOHN [to A-rab]
My old man says his old man woulda gone bust anyway.
Your old man says that?
My old man says them Puerto Ricans is ruinin' free ennaprise.
And what're we doin' about it?
[Pushing through the game comes a scrawny teen-age girl, dressed
in an outfit that is a pathetic attempt to imitate that of the
Jets. Perhaps we have glimpsed her in the fracas before the
police am e in. Her name is Anybodys.]
You still around?
Listen I was a smash in that fight. Oh, Riff, Riff, I was murder!
Come on, Anybodys-
Riff, how about me getting' in the gang now?
How about the gang gettin' in -ahhh, who'd wanta!
You cheap beast! [She lunges for A-rab, but Riff pulls her off
and pushes her out.]
The road, little lady, the road. [In a moment of bravado, just
before she goes, Anybodys spits-but cautiously.] Round out! [This
is Riff's summoning of the gang, and they surround him.] We
fought hard for this territory and it's ours. But with those cops
servin' as cover, the PRs can move in right under our noses and
take it away. Unless we speed fast and clean 'em up in one all-
A rumble! [A jabbing gesture.] Chung! Chung!
Cool, Action boy. The Sharks want a place, too, and they are
tough. They might ask for bottles of knives or zip guns.
Zip guys... Gee!
I'm not finalizin' and sayin' they will: I'm only sayin' they
might and we gotta be prepared. Now what's your mood?
I say go, go!!
But if they say knives or guns-
I say let's forget the whole thing.
What do you say, Riff?
I say this turf is small, but it's all we got. I wanna hold it
like we always held it: with skin! But if they say switchblades,
I'll get a switchblade. I say I want the Jets to be Number One,
to sail, to hold the sky!
Then rev us off. [A punching gesture.] Voom-va voom!
Riga diga dum!
OK, buddy boys, we rumble! [General glee.] Now protocality calls
for a war council to decide on weapons. I'll make the challenge
You gotta take a lieutenant.
Who need Tony?
Against the Sharks we need every man we got.
Tony don't belong any more.
Cut it, Action boy. I and Tony started the Jets.
Well, he acts like he don't wanna belong.
Who wouldn't wanna belong to the Jets!
Tony ain't been with us for over a month.
What about the day we clobbered the Emeralds?
Which we couldn't have done without Tony.
He saved my ever lovin' neck.
Right. He's always come through for us and he will now.
When you're a Jet,
You're a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin' day.
When you're a Jet,
If the spit hits the fan,
You got brothers around,
You're a family man!
You're never alone,
You're never disconnected!
You're home with your own:
When company's expected,
You're well protected!
Then you are set
With a capital J,
Which you'll never forget
Till they cart you away.
When you're a Jet,
I know Tony like I know. I guarantee you can count him in.
In, out, let's get crackin'.
Where you gonna find Bernardo?
At the dance tonight at the gym.
But the gym's neutral territory.
RIFF [sweet innocence]
I'm gonna make nice there! I'm only gonna challenge him.
So everybody dress up sweet and sharp. Meet Tony and me at them.
And walk tall!
[He runs off.]
We always talk tall!
[He sings with Baby John:]
When you're a Jet,
You're the top cat in town,
You're the gold-metal kid
With the heavyweight crown!
Action, Big Deal sings:]
When you're a Jet,
You're the swingin'est thing.
Little boy, you're a man;
Little man, you're a king!
The Jets are in gear,
Our cylinders are clickin'!
The Sharks'll steer clear
'Cause ev'ry Puerto Rican
'S a lousy chicken!
Here come the Jets
Like a bat out of hell-
Someone gets in our way,
Someone don't feel so well.
Here come the Jets:
Little world, step aside!
Better go underground,
Better run, better hide.
We're drawin' the line,
So keep your noses hidden!
We're hangin' a sign,
Says "Visitors forbidden"-
And we ain't kiddin'!
Here come the Jets,
Yeah! An' we're gonna beat
Ev'ry last buggin' gang
On the whole buggin' street!
[Diesel and Action.]
On the whole
The Lights Black Out
5:30 P.M. A back yard.
On a small ladder, a good-looking sandy-haired boy is
painting a vertical sign that will say: "Doc's." Below, Riff is
Riga tiga tum tum. Why not? ...You can't say ya won't, Tony boy,
without sayin' why not?
Because it's me askin': Riff. Womb to tomb!
Sperm to worm! [Surveying the sign.] You sure this looks like
Twenty-seven years the boss has had that drugstore. I wanna
surprise him with a new sign.
RIFF [shaking the ladder.]
Tony, this is important!
Very important: Acemen, Rocketmen.
What's with you? Four and one-half year I live with a buddy and
his family. Four and one-half years I think I know a man's
character. Buddy boy, I am a victim of disappointment in you.
End your sufferin', little man. Why don't you pack up your gear
and clear out?
'Cause your ma's hot for me. [Tony grabs his arms and twists it.]
No! 'Cause I hate livin' with my buggin' uncle uncle UNCLE!
[Tony releases him and climbs back up the ladder.]
Now go play nice with the Jets.
The Jets are the greatest!
Are. You found something' better?
You won't dig it.
OK... Every single damn night for the last month, I wake up-and
I'm reachin' out.
I don't know. It's right outside the door, around the corner. But
What is? Tell me!
I don't know! It's-like the kick I use to get from bein' a Jet.
...Or from bein buddies.
We're still buddies.
The kick comes from the people, buddy boy.
Yea, but not from a Jet.
No? Without a gang you're an orphan. With a gang you walk in
two's three's four's. And when your gang is the best, when you're
a Jet, buddy boy, you're out in the sun and home free home!
Riff, I've had it. [Pause.]
Tony, the trouble is large: The Sharks bite hard! We got to stop
them now, and we need you! [Pause. Quietly.] I never asked the
time of a day from a clock, but I'm askin' you: Come to the dance
tonight... [Tony turns away.] ...I already told the gang you'd be
TONY [after a moment, turns to him with a grin]
Ten it is.
Womb to tomb!
Sperm to worm! And I'll live to regret this.
Who knows? Maybe what you're waitin' for'll be twitchin' at the
[He runs off.]
[Music starts and he sings:]
There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannon-balling down thru the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree...
I got a feeling there's a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!
Could it be? Yes it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!
With a click, with a shock,
Phone'll jingle, door'll knock,
Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when but it's soon-
Catch the moon,
Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It'll be there!
Come on something, come on in,
don't be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach...
The Lights Dim
6:00 P.M. A bridal shop.
A small section, enough to include a table with sewing
machine, a chair or two. Anita, A Puerto Rican girl with loose
hair and slightly flashy clothes, is finishing remaking what was
a white communion dress into a party dress for an extremely
lovely, extremely young girl: Maria. Anita is knowing, a sexual,
sharp. Maria is an excited, enthusiastic, obedient child, with
the temper, stubborn strength and awareness of a woman.
MARIA [holding out scissors]
Por favor, Anita. Make the neck lower!
Stop it, Maria.
One inch. How much can one little inch do?
Anita, it is now to be a dress of dancing, no longer for kneeling
in front of an altar.
With those boys you can start in dancing and end up kneeling.
Querida, one little inch; uno poca poca-
Bernardo made me promise-
Ai! Bernardo! One month have I been in this country-do I ever
even touch excitement? I sew all day, I sit all night. For what
did my fine brother bring me here?
To marry Chino.
When I look at Chino, nothing happens.
What do you expect to happen?
I don't know: something. What happens when you look at Bernardo?
It's when I don't look at him that it happens.
I think I will tell Mama and Papa about you and 'Nardo in the
balcony of the movies.
I will rip this to shreds!
No. But you perhaps could manage to lower the neck-
Next year I will be married an no one will care if its down to
Down to where?
Down to here. [Indicates her waist.] I hate this dress!
Then don't wear it and don't come to the dance.
Don't come! [Grabs the dress.] Could we not dye it red, at least?
No, we could not. [She starts to help Maria into the dress.]
White is for babies. I will be the only one there in a white-
Ahhhh-sí! It is a beautiful dress: I love you!
[As she hugs Anita, Bernardo enters, followed by a shy, gentle
sweet-faced boy: Chino.]
Are you ready?
Come in, 'Nardo. [Whirls in the dress.] Is it not beautiful?
BERNARDO [looking only at Maria's face]
Yes. [Kisses her.] Very.
I didn't quite hear...
BERNARDO [kissin Anita quite differently.]
[watches them a second, then turns to Chino]
Come in, Chino. Do not be afraid.
But this is a shop for ladies.
'Nardo, it is most important that I have a wonderful time at the
BENARDO [as Anita hooks up Maria]
Because tonight is the real beginning of my life as a young lady
[She begins to whirl in the dress as the shop slides off
and a flood of gaily colored streamers pours down. As Maria
begins to turn and turn, going off-stage. Sharks girls, dressed
for the dance whirl on, followed by Jet girls. By boys from both
gangs. The streamers fly up again for the next scene.]
10:00 P.M. The gym.