West Side Story is a 1957 Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, about a gang war between a group of Puerto Rican immigrants (the Sharks) and working class white kids (the Jets) in 1950s New York City. The musical, which was conceived and directed by Jerome Robbins, is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture when it was released as a motion picture in 1961.
Songs performed in Muppet productions
- -The Ed Sullivan Show, April 30, 1967
- -Performed by an Anything Muppet woman on Julie on Sesame Street
- -episode 109 of The Muppet Show
- -Excerpted in Julie on Sesame Street
- The song "Maria" from the musical has been spoofed in several occasions on Sesame Street, notably due to the character Maria sharing the same name of the song.
- "Jet Song" is briefly sampled in the opening dance number of Julie on Sesame Street as Julie Andrews gets surrounded by some Grouch dancers.
- "Inside/Outside Story" on "Monsterpiece Theater", which featured Anything Muppet parodies of the two main characters, Tony and Maria, singing a parody of "Tonight."
- In The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Huxley says, "I always fancied myself as a singer. I was almost in a bus and truck show of West Side Story. They said I wasn't right for Maria. What do they know? I feel pretty."
- In Elmo's World: Wild Wild West!, the Wild Wild West Channel teases an upcoming airing of "Wild Wild West Side Story."
- In What's the Name of That Song?, a group of animated letters and numbers sing about who's better with songs that spoof the "Jet Song" from the musical.
- A "Global Thingy" segment spoofs the musical where a gang of tough Thingys refuse to return a ball.
- In his book Before You Leap, Kermit says a few amphibians find work in showbiz thanks to little theatre productions of "Wet Side Story."
- A 2007 "Ready To Learn" commercial, which parodied "The Jet Song." Instead of the two gangs preparing to brawl, however, Ernie and Theo (from Between the Lions) illustrate to the Kids how rhyming can enhance reading abilities.
- The show was parodied as "Veg Side Story" in a "Dinner Theatre" sketch on Sesame Street, with a parody of the song "Maria." When the lead character, Tony, deems zucchini cool, the scene is briefly scored with a riff from "Cool."
- In the waiting area for the Sesame Place stage show Elmo the Musical, a poster hangs for the show "Nest Side Story."
- The Furchester Hotel episode "The Fish In The Cape" has a song sung by Phoebe including the lyric "When you're a shark, your a shark through and through", a reference to The Sharks and the lyric "When you're a Jet, You're a Jet all the way".
- Episode 4901 is entitled "When You're a Vet", another reference to the "Jets Song".
- Debbie Allen played Anita in the 1980 Broadway revival
- John Astin played Gladhand in the film version
- John Bentley played Officer Krupke and understudied Doc and Lt. Schrank in the 1980 Broadway revival
- Randy Cohen was keyboard programmer for the 2009 Broadway revival
- Victoria Mallory played Maria in the Lincoln Center revival
- Lin-Manuel Miranda provided the translations for the 2009 Broadway revival
- Rita Moreno played Anita in the film version
- Jaime Sánchez originated the role of Chino on Broadway
- Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg played Maria in a production on "Østre Gasværk" in Denmark