May 02, 2019

WEST SIDE STORY: Audiences and Critics Weigh In!

"A big, traditional, get-your-money's-worth West Side Story opens soon at the Lyric Opera," promised the Chicago Tribune in April  and on opening weekend, thousands of musical theater lovers packed the Lyric Opera House to see for themselves. Palpable energy was in the air as the curtain went up  and the buzz enthusiastically grew once the singing and dancing began. "There aren’t a lot of theaters in the country with the resources for a national search to draw a set of performers who can all execute at this level," raved the Chicago Sun-Times about the production, which features nearly 100 artists and musicians, including a 43-piece orchestra.

Click below to watch the West Side Story preview trailer, see what audiences have to say after seeing it, and then read some of the rave reviews that are rolling in as we celebrate opening week!

From the critics:

"Lyric Opera has a great, traditional West Side Story that believes in the original."

"What greater emotional sound ever entered anyone’s ears?"

"The look of this West Side is both retro and theatrical."

"★ ★ ★ ½" (out of four)
Chicago Tribune


"Superbly executed production"

"I can’t think of any recent show with such constant, thrilling injections of dynamism and adrenaline, always supported by that giant orchestra."

"★ ★ ★ ★" (out of four)
Chicago Sun-Times


"The singing, dancing and musical values were consistently outstanding...the dance sequences were glorious. "
Chicago Classical Review


"Seeing it live, and on such a grand scale, is bound to be a whole new experience."


"A musical masterpiece... a show to remember."
Chicago Theater and Arts


"★ ★ ★ ★" (out of four) will love what Lyric has done and the cast they have brought to their stage."
Around the Town Chicago


"If you love the movie—you will love this too; if you love live performance, you will love it all the more."
Picture This Post


"Impeccably played, sung, danced and acted."
Storefront Rebellion


"Sheer kinetic energy pulsing between the ensemble, the stars, the orchestra and the audience...another smashing success worth seeking out"
Third Coast Review


West Side Story, the beloved Broadway musical masterpiece, is now onstage at Lyric. Seize your chance to see this critically acclaimed new production now. West Side Story at Lyric must close on June 2.

Lyric premiere of West Side Story generously made possible by

Lead sponsor

The Negaunee Foundation


Anonymous Donor

Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin

Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison

Mrs. Herbert A. Vance & Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance

Major in-kind audio support provided by

A coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Festival.



Based on a conception of JEROME ROBBINS


Entire Original Production Directed and Choreographed by JEROME ROBBINS

Originally Produced On Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince
By Arrangement with Roger L. Stevens

Photo: Todd Rosenberg