“West Side Story” will play in July at the Hollywood Bowl with score performed live

posted by CSWalczak on February 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

HOLLYWOD, CA — The fiftieth anniversary of the release of “West Side Story” will be celebrated at the Hollywood Bowl on the evenings of July 8 and 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the score live. The screening will be the re-mastered version of the film in high-definition.

The is more at Playbill.com.

Comments (10)

ChasSmith on February 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I don’t get it. Are they showing the whole film and playing along with the soundtrack, “under” the singing (but along with the studio orchestra)? Are they showing selected scenes, with no sound, and playing along with that? (Maybe the purely instrumental parts — Prologue, Dance at the Gym, etc.?) None of the above? I can’t imagine it being anything but a circus act, but I’m happy to hear about the restoration.

CSWalczak on February 24, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Here is the official webpage about it: View link. I could be wrong, but the description sounds as if they will be showing a version that only has vocal and dialogue tracks.

ChasSmith on February 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Yes, I think you’re right. That really has to be the case.

Okay, the one thing I’d find compelling about it, if I were on the correct coast and could attend, is hearing the actual film orchestrations played live — IF that’s what they’ll be playing from. And I think it would be a pretty sizable task to “arrange” the published stage version to match the film. Have to find out more about this.

CSWalczak on February 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Perhaps – and this is just speculation – they may have been allowed access to the film’s original scoring material and music cue sheets in order to work up the score and timings for the musicians. I would imagine that the rehearsals will be intense get the synchronization right. But if they pull it off, I would bet it will be impressive.

ChasSmith on February 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm

It looks like they’ve been doing this type of thing for a while. From elsewhere on the Hollywood Bowl site:

In the summer of 1993, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra recorded its first motion picture soundtrack for MGM’s That’s Entertainment III. Since its inception, the HBO has been committed to restoring and performing lost or neglected film scores. Examples of the Orchestra’s major restoration projects include Max Steiner’s theme to Gone With the Wind, the “Dream Ballet” sequence from Oklahoma!, and the “Born in a Trunk” sequence from the 1954 production of A Star is Born.

Performing music often heard only in its recorded form, the Orchestra has brought works from the silver screen to life. Annual “Movie Night” concerts, in which the Orchestra plays the scores live in synch with film clips projected on the Bowl’s gigantic screen – with HD capabilities – have featured some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Recent years have featured collaborations with major motion picture studios: Twentieth-Century Fox, Warner Bros., Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I thought they were releasing the 50th anniversary film in 70mm

CSWalczak on March 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

There is a new 70mm print with an improved soundtrack that has been made available; it was shown recently at the Zeigfeld in New York and I think at the AFI theater on the East Coast. This event though is different than simply showing a print of the film in view of the live performance element. I would guess that making a 70mm print available with only dialogue and vocal tracksand finding a skilled projectionist to properly show it might have been far more expensive than the way they appear to be doing it; also the Bowl probably does not have 70mm equipment.

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MPol on March 27, 2011 at 7:25 am

What? When was the new 70mm print of West Side Story with the improved soundtrack shown at the Ziegfeld in New York? I’m just curious.

MPol on June 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

It sounds exciting! Since West Side Story is my all time favorite movie, I sure wish I could be there!

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