West Side Story

Question: In the original musical of West Side Story, the song "Officer Krupke" is sung some time after the rumble when Riff was killed. Why was it changed to before the rumble?

Answer: Actually there were a number of changes made in the movie adaptation compared to the original stage version. There were cuts, new additions, and changes to music, lyrics, dialogue, and characters. A few of the musical numbers were switched around because it was felt the storyline flowed better on screen, for different reasons. Some examples are "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "I Feel Pretty" which are cheerful, light-hearted songs and were moved to before "The Rumble", and "Cool" was moved to after "The Rumble" which gives that song's lyrics gravitas.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: Why did they use actors who couldn't sing in the leading roles? Wouldn't it be easier to cast people who could sing instead of dubbing with other singing voices?

Chosen answer: People would not come to the theater to see Marnie Nixon despite the fact that she has sung the lead roles in West Side Story, The King and I, and My Fair Lady. They'd rather see that darling girl from "Miracle on 34th Street" again (or Deborah Kerr or Audrey Hepburn) than an unknown with actual talent.

Myridon

Question: While it is generally known that Marni Nixon sang the part of Maria in the movie, I'm fairly sure Russ Tamblyn did not sing Tony's part. Who covered that?

Chosen answer: Some of Tamblyn's vocals were dubbed by actor/singer/dance Tucker Smith, who was also in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. Smith also appeared in the movie version, playing a character named Ice.

raywest Premium member

Question: The Jets and Sharks are supposedly in their 'teens, from broken homes, no jobs, and living in poverty. Where then, did they get the money to buy the fancy clothes they wear to the dance at the gym?

Chosen answer: You're making unnecessary assumptions. They are teens so they live with their parents. Tony works at the drugstore. Maria and Anita work at the bridal shop. The others may have jobs that are not shown. Their parents may provide for them. Even if their parents are poor, the mothers and the girls could make the clothes. They could buy the clothes used, etc. Plus of course they're gang members who presumably are capable of stealing money.

Myridon

Question: After "Gee, Officer Krupke," they're all going into Doc's candy store, and Snowboy is fiddling with something - what is it?

Chosen answer: A small radio.

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