After almost thirty years: West Side Story back in the Netherlands

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West Side Story

Theater producer De Graaf & Cornelissen Entertainment has announced that the musical West Side Story will tour major theaters in the Netherlands in the 2025-2026 season. As with the impressive Les Misérables, West Side Story will have a large live orchestra with no fewer than twenty musicians.

Producers Ruud de Gaaf and Hans Cornelissen: “We are really very pleased. After the impressive production from 1996 (Joop van den Ende), there was no longer a Dutch-language version to be seen. We have been trying to achieve this for almost ten years. But after the success of Les Misérables and Mamma Mia! everything suddenly accelerated. Of course we will go all out in all areas and this enormous production will again come to the public, in 13 major theaters in the Netherlands.”

The story

West Side Story is an American musical, loosely based on the classic story ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare. The Sharks and the Jets are rival gangs with Puerto Rican and American/Polish roots respectively who fight over the same territory. Tensions rise when Sharks girl Maria and Tony, who is with the Jets, fall in love. They embark on a forbidden romance, but their rivalry makes it seem like they may never be together.

Creative producer Hans Cornelissen: “We are making a new version. With respect for the beautiful material, we will push boundaries and give our own signature to the performance. Stories about people who are not allowed to love each other due to origin, religion or preferences unfortunately appear to be timeless. Because most roles are relatively young, we will audition very extensively. For people with a professional theater education, information about this can be found on our website.”

Nominees At Musical Awards Nomination Lunch
Hans Cornelissen / ANP

West Side Story is a 1957 musical that was made into a film in 1961 starring Natalie Wood as Maria and Richard Beymer as Tony. In 2021, Steven Spielberg made a successful new film version. The lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim with Leonard Bernstein as composer. Famous songs from the musical include ‘Maria’, ‘America’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Gee, Officer Krupke’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’.

The musical West Side Story can be seen from November 2025 to June 2026 in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht, Breda, Groningen, Den Bosch, Leeuwarden, Enschede, Apeldoorn, Heerlen, Almere and Utrecht.

The national premiere is Sunday, November 23, 2025 in the Nieuwe Luxor Theater in Rotterdam.

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