West Side Story



Questions for viewing

1. Describe the Overture Musical themes and how they relate to the colors you see on the screen. (You will see a different color for each different song)

2. Who is snapping fingers first in the very opening scene on the playground?

3. How does Bernstein combine jazz dance with ballet in the opening scene?

4. What does the snapping fingers do for this whole scene? How does is add to the scene?

5. What two gangs are chasing each other in the first scene?

6. How is the dance incorporated into the chase scene at the beginning between the two gangs?

7. Who finally breaks up the fight?

8. Who is the leader of the Sharks?

9. Who is the leader of the Jets?

10. Who is the shy, weak member of the Jets?

11. The first song is called "When You're a Jet". Describe the music, dance, lyrics and circumstances of this song.

12.Who is Tony?

13. The next song is "Something's Coming" What is Tony talking about in this song?

14. What are Maria and Anita discussing in the next scene in the Bridal Shop?

15. Describe the scene change from the Bridal Shop to the dance scene. How did they move from one scene to the other?

16. How did the choreography (dance) fit the music in the big dance scene?

17.When Tony meets Mari, the dance quickly and drastically changes from jazz to ballet, yet the two are combined. What do you think of this combination? Hoe did it tie in with the mood of the scene?

18.Where an when is the War Council to meet? What is a War Council?

19. The next song is "Maria". Who sings this song?

20. How does the song fit into the scene and move the plot along?

21. The next scene is on the roof of the apartment building with the Sharks and their friends. This scene is important because is gives the viewers the chance to see how the Puerto Rican men feel about America compared to the Puerto Rican women. A. How do the ladies feel about America? B. How do the men feel about America?

22. During the Puerto Rican song "America", how does the music and dance portray the culture of the Puerto Ricans?

23. The alley scene between Tony and Maria is similar to what scene from Romeo and Juliet?

24. What is the meaning of the song, "Tonight", which is sung by Tony and Maria?

25. What is a juvenile delinquent?

26. The next song is, "Gee, Officer Krupke". This song deals with the idea of juvenile delinquents. What are the Jets saying about juvenile delinquents throughout this song?

27.The next scene is Doc's Drugstore. What takes place here in this scene?

28. What tune do the Sharks whistle as they leave the store?

29. Why do they whistle that particular tune at that particular time?

30. The next scene is the Bridal Shop. Maria sings, "I Feel Pretty", Explain Maria's feelings in this song.

31. Why does Maria want Tony to stop the Rumble?

32. During this scene Tony and Maria have their own marriage ceremony. How does the song,"One Hand, One Heart", fit this particular moment in the scene?

33. In contrast, we move to the next scene - moving to the Rumble. Contrasted here is the peace between Maria and Tony with the song recap"Tonight" and then the Jets and Sharks and their version of a more fierce, fighting song of "Tonight". How does this help us see the problem in the story yet to come?

34. Describe the exact details of what happens at the rumble.

35. Why did Tony do what he did during this scene?

36. Why does Tony's action further complicate the problem between Tony and Maria?

37. Who tells Maria about what happened at the rumble?

38. The next scene shows the Jets getting back together after the rumble. They start to sing a song called, "Cool Boy". What is this song about? Why is it important for the Jets?

39. WHat is the shape of the dance formation for this song? (circle, square,etc.)

40. Who is after Tony with a gun?

41. How does Anita react when she sees Maria and Tony together?

42. How does Anita change? What does she do for Maria?

43. What happens to Anita at Doc's?

44. What story does she tell for Tony to hear? Why did she make up this story?

45. Tony thinks that Maria is dead. What does he do?

46. Describe what happens to Tony,

47. What is Maria's message to the Jets and the Sharks?

48. Who places the scarf on Maria's head at the end?

49. What colors represent the Jets? The Sharks?

50. In conclusion, what is the message of the story?