Ivo van Hove’s Revival of West Side Story Will Not Reopen on Broadway

Tony winner Ivo van Hove’s revival of West Side Story, which has been closed since the pandemic shuttered theatres on Broadway and around the world, will not reopen at the Broadway Theatre.

Producer Kate Horton said in a statement: “This difficult and painful decision comes after we have explored every possible path to a successful run, and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, reopening is not a practical proposition.”

Horton was not originally billed as a producer when the production opened in February 2020. The British executive boarded the title in the wake of original producer Scott Rudin “stepping back” from his projects as allegations of workplace abuse and intimidation came to light. Horton is now set to executive produce the upcoming revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.

Elsewhere on Broadway, Orin Wolf was recently named executive producer of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Rudin is also no longer attached to The Book of Mormon, which will resume performances on Broadway in November.

Scott Rudin Says He Will ‘Step Back’ From Broadway After Abuse Allegations

Lead producers alongside Rudin included Barry Diller, David Geffen, Eli Bush, Adam Rodner, and James L. Nederlander.

When it originally opened, the production starred Shereen Pimentel (The Lion King) as Maria, Isaac Powell (Once on This Island) as Tony, Yesenia Ayala (Carousel) as Anita, and Amar Ramasar as Bernardo. The casting of the last placed the production into turmoil already before the Rudin controversy; Ramasar, a dancer with New York City Ballet, was cast while facing allegations of sexual assault.

Several protests took place outside the theatre, causing the production to release a statement in support of its decision: “There is zero consideration being given to his potentially being terminated from this workplace, as there has been no transgression of any kind, ever, in this workplace.”

The revival featured scenic and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, costumes by An D’Huys, sound design by Tom Gibbons, and video design by Luke Halls. Choreography was by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, marking a notable departure from Jerome Robbins‘ original work. The staging of the musical by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Robbins also incorporated the film version of “America,” a tightened running time, and the removal of “I Feel Pretty.”

The revival was nominated for six 2020 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Halls won the Drama Desk for Outstanding Projection Design. Though it opened prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the production was not eligible for the 74th annual Tony Awards.

West Side Story is also gearing up for its return to the big screen, with a new film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner arriving in movie theatres in December. Watch the trailer here.