The Kennedy Center


NSO Pops: West Side Story in Concert

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Saturday, February 17, 2018

Leonard Bernstein at 100 NSO Pops

Celebrate Leonard Bernstein's beloved updated interpretation of Romeo & Juliet in a thrilling performance by the NSO, joined by a full cast of favorites from Broadway and more, and specially staged for the Concert Hall experience by a visionary creative team.

Search for Current Events


National Symphony Orchestra
West Side Story in Concert
Conducted by Steven Reineke, NSO Principal Pops Conductor
Directed by Francesca Zambello, Washington National Opera Artistic Director

Experience forbidden love, fierce family loyalties, and the ruthless feud between the Sharks and the Jets through the iconic music of West Side Story!

Leonard Bernstein’s legendary, Broadway-shaping musical interpretation of Romeo & Juliet with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim comes to life as part of the global celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birth year. A full cast of more than 20 dazzling performers—comprised of Broadway favorites, talents from DC’s thriving theater scene, and members of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program—join this special production staged for the unique experience of the Concert Hall by a visionary creative team. Immerse yourself in the world of West Side Story with soaring symphony, thrilling vocals, and evocative elements of costuming, lighting, and choreographed movement!

Featured soloists include a "who's who" from Broadway: Corey Cott as Tony (Broadway’s Newsies and Bandstand), Solea Pfeiffer as Maria (Eliza in Hamilton tour), Krysta Rodriguez as Anita (Ana Vargas of Smash), Ephraim Sykes as Riff (Seaweed in NBC’s 2016 live production of Hairspray Live!), and Joel Perez as Bernardo (Broadway’s Fun Home). Additional creative team members include assistant director Eric Sean Fogel, visual designers S. Katy Tucker and Mark McCullough, costume designer Lynly Saunders, and sound designer Ken Travis.

Performance Timing: Approximately 1-1/2 hours, with no intermission.

“What was a originally a period piece about New York gangs in the 1950s has become one of the most relevant and provocative pieces of music theater ever as it continues to resonate about life in contemporary society. Revisiting West Side Story today with the NSO gives performers and audiences alike a chance to not only explore a work quintessential to American music theater history, but to see its many layers make a profound statement about America.”

“Leonard Bernstein has long been one of my personal idols as a conductor, composer, musician, and educator. I'm thrilled to be celebrating his centennial with our NSO performances of one of the most classic and archetypal pieces of American musical theater ever written. With its powerful and iconic score, this story continues to resonate with audiences of all ages as it tells its timeless tale of forbidden love and social prejudice.”

Part of Leonard Bernstein at 100