After the nominations to the Golden Globes 2022, the movie Love without barriers, directed by Steven Spielber, continues to make people talk.
The long-awaited adaptation of one of the most iconic stories in popular culture of the 20th century, the original 1957 Broadway musical. The new film takes you back to 1950s New York to relive the iconic youth romance between Tony Y Mary, and witness the rivalry between two gangs from the Upper West Side area of the city.
Love without barriers honors the powerful legacy of its predecessor as it unites the talents of the best of Broadway and Hollywood. The famous story comes to life in 1957 with the famous musical of the same name and continues four years later with the first film adaptation. Over the course of six decades, the story has become an American cultural symbol that, in turn, was able to win over viewers on all continents.
A story is born
The story of Tony Y Mary came to life for the first time on September 26, 1957, when the musical Love without barriers premiered at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. The work is the result of the talents of four undisputed geniuses and musical theater icons: director and choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and playwright Arthur Laurents.
The show had a long gestation period. Robbins conceived the musical in 1949, based on a plot he devised with Bernstein and that revolved around the conflict between an Irish Catholic family and a Jewish family living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
In 1955, after meeting Laurents, according to the story, the playwright and screenwriter proposed the subject of the two gangs of New York teenagers, one of recently arrived Puerto Ricans and the other of descendants of working-class European immigrants.
The project took shape and began to articulate, and although funding was not easy to come by, rehearsals began in July 1957. After a trial run in Washington, DC, the show opened on Broadway and garnered rave reviews.
At the Winter Garden Theater it was performed 732 times, and has since come to life on stage. amateur and professionals from all over the world.
It was performed 732 times at the Winter Garden Theater, and has since been brought to life on amateur and professional stages around the world.
To conquer the world
While the musical garnered critical acclaim and delighted audiences fans musical theater, it was not until the premiere of the 1961 film that history conquered the world. Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, Love without barriers it was a sensational success with the public and critics. In addition to winning ten Oscars and sweeping the box office, it marked the beginning of the musical’s emergence as a cultural phenomenon.
As Bernstein’s daughter Jamie Bernstein recounts, in addition to the 1961 film, there were four Broadway reruns and countless regional productions in theaters across the country and abroad, in addition to productions in cinemas, high schools, and college auditoriums; a version punk; a version told by a woman, performed by Cher; and a production at the famous La Scala lyrical theater in Milan.
A powerful inheritance
From the moment he started dreaming of making a new adaptation of Love without barriers, Steven Spielberg knew that honoring the prestigious legacy was a great responsibility.
In honor of that respect, the film’s creative team constantly consulted with the heirs of the original creators throughout the long period of pre-production., and the suggestions they offered were listened to attentively by all.
“Steven loves this play so much. I think he must be passionate about all the movies he makes, but he certainly has a passion for this one. It’s extraordinary. And those who know the play are going to have real surprises with the film because Tony Kushner, who wrote the script, did some very imaginative and surprising things with the way the songs are used in the story.“The recently deceased Stephen Sondheim commented long ago.
The team behind the film was also committed from the beginning to tell this new version of the story with a diverse and ethnically authentic look..
“In the theater, the actors, for the most part, were not of Hispanic origin, and in the 1961 film, they were in their thirties, and many of those who were playing Puerto Ricans were white. I wanted the cast to be authentic, to make sure that the actors who played the members of the Sharks (the gang of Puerto Rican origin) were one hundred percent Latino, and young”, explica Steven Spielberg.
To do this, the filmmakers incorporated specialists in the Puerto Rican experience in New York City to the team.Among them, the dancer, actor and director Julio Monge, who was an advisor to the script, among other things, and Virginia Sánchez Korrol, a university professor from Brooklyn, who wrote thirteen books on the subject of Latinos in the United States.
Built on a priceless legacy, “Love Without Barriers” looks back to honor the work of those who brought this unique story to life.
Supported on an invaluable legacy, Love without barriers It looks back to honor the work of those who brought this unique story to life, but it also looks forward, leaving a contemporary stamp on the story in line with the times, as only Steven Spielberg can.
With information from The Walt Disney Company México.