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Something's Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  8 reviews
(Applause Books). Something's Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination takes a critical, comprehensive look at one of the most inventive, influential, and internationally beloved Broadway musicals of all time from its inception by a brilliant quartet of creators (Robbins, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Laurents) to its smashing success on film, to its ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers (first published November 15th 2010)
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Nicolas Ward
This was a Christmas gift this year from my mom. For those who are wondering why I'd receive a book seemingly outside my usual interests, that's probably because you're unaware that I participated a lot in theater up through high school. In 11th grade I played "Baby John" in Breck's production of West Side Story, which was a ton of fun. Parts of the musical are thus pretty ingrained, even almost 15 years later.

As is typical for my non-fiction reads, what I enjoyed the most was the trivia. In thi
Michael Arden
Here is the back story of what has been called the greatest musical show of all time, WEST SIDE STORY. Following up on an idea conceived by Broadway and Hollywood dance choreographer Jerome Robbins in the late 1940s, a dream team consisting of Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, the premier American composer of his time, Stephen Sondheim, a young, talented lyricist on the rise, and Arthur Laurents, the experienced Broadway show and film script writer, was assembled by the early 1950s to update Shakespea ...more
AHHHH...this book made me want to see the musical. I was thinking as I was reading - I don't think I've ever seen a professinal production of the show. The movie, yes. Amateur, summer-stocky type shows, absolutely. But now I am so intrigued by the Robbins choreography that I really want to (CLICHE ALERT) see it again for the first time.

(I just put the movie on hold from my library, so maybe that will help mitigate the longing for now...)

So anyway, this was so much more information about a show I
"Something's Coming, Something Good" is a lovely gathering of nostalgia, compendium of information I already knew, and some bits of new information for the WSS corner of my memory. I'm a West Side Story (WSS) fan since my NJ tweens, when I saw the tail end of the original show's run in 1959.

Berson is an engaging writer, though I think her text became somewhat redundant in the end. I enjoyed her commentary on the big dance pieces, as she basically is a dance critic. Her assessment of WSS and its
Everything you've ever wanted to know about West Side Story and probably then some. Whether you're a fan of the stage show, the film, the score, or the dances, Berson's well-written, well-researched book will satisfy your cravings. For me some of the most fascinating tidbits I learned about were the filming of "The Prologue" on sweltering and deserted city blocks in New York City waiting to be razed to make way for the Lincoln Center complex, Jerome Robbins' work on the film and his subsequent f ...more
Adam Boon
I found this book so helpful and critically engaging. Was used as extensive research for a university essay, but I ended up reading the whole book as it was genuinely interesting to read the life of West Side Story and its significance in our society!
Fascinating behind the scenes look at an American classic.
A fun read about one of my favorite movies.
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Misha Berson (Seattle, WA) is a theatre critic for the Seattle Times and the author of the books Between Worlds: Contemporary Asian-American Plays and The San Francisco Stage. She writes regularly for American Theatre Magazine and other publications. She appears as a commentator on KUOW-FM radio, has taught at the University of Washington and San Francisco State University, and is the former execu ...more
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