West side story

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Actually, a converted gymnasium of a settlement house, at

the moment being used as a dancehall, disguised for the occasion

with streamers and bunting.

Both gangs are jitterbugging wildly with their bodies, but

their faces, although they are enjoying themselves, remain cool,

almost detached. The line between the two gangs is sharply

defined by the colors they wear: the Jets, girls as well as boys,

reflecting the colors of the Jets jackets; the same is true of

the Sharks. The dancing is a physical and emotional release for

these kids.

Maria enters with Chino, Bernardo and Anita. As she looks

around, delighted, thrilled by this, her first dance, the Jets

catch sight of Bernardo, who is being greeted by Pepe, his

lieutenant, and other Sharks. As the music peters away, the Jets

withdraw to one side of the hall, around Riff. The Sharks, seeing

this, draw to their side, around Bernardo, who starts-with his

lieutenants-to meet him. The moment is brief but it would be

disastrous if a smiling, overly cheerful young man of about

thirty did not hurry forward. He is called Glad Hand, and he is a

"square."

GLAD HAND [beaming]

All right, boys and girls! Attention, please! [Hum of talk.]

Attention! [Krupke appears behind Glad Hand: the talk stops.]

Thank you. It sure is fine turnout tonight. [Ad libs from the

kids.] We want to make friends here, so we're going to have a few

get-together dances. [Ad libs: "Oh, ginger peachy," ect.] You

form two circles: boys on the outside and girls on the inside.

SNOWBOY

Where are you?



GLAD HAND [tries to laugh at this]

All right. Now when the music stops, each boy dances with

whichever girl is opposite. O.K.? O.K. Two circles, kids. [The

kids clap their hands back at him and ad lib: "Two circles,

kids," ect., but do not move.] Well, it won't hurt you to try.

SNOWBOY [limping forward]

Oh, it hurts; it hurts; it-

[Krupke steps forward. Snowboy straightens up and meekly

returns to his place. Riff steps forward and beckons to his girl,

Velma. She is terribly young, sexy, lost in a world of jive. She

slithers forward to take her place with Riff. The challenge is

met by Bernardo, who steps forward, leading Anita as though he

were presenting the most magnificent lady in all the world. The

other kids follow, forming the two circles Glad Hand requested.]

GLAD HAND

That's it, kids. Keep the ball rolling. Round she goes and where

she stops, nobody knows. All right: here we go!

[Promenade music starts and the circles start revolving. Glad

Hand, whistles to this mouth, is in the center with Krupke. He

blows the whistle and the music stops, leaving the Jet boys

opposite Sharks girls, and vice versa. There is a moment of

tenseness, then Bernardo reaches across the Jet girl opposite for

Anita's hand, and she comes to him. Riff reaches for Velma; and

the kids of both gangs follow suit. The "get-together" has

failed, and each gang is on its own side of the hall as a mambo

starts. This turns into a challenge dance between Bernardo and

Anita-cheered on by the Sharks-and Riff and Velma-cheered on by

the Jets. During it, Tony enters and is momentarily embraced by

Riff, who is delighted that his best friend did turn up. The

dance builds wilder and wilder, until, at the peak, everybody is

dancing and shouting. "Go, Mambo!" It is at this moment that Tony

and Maria-at opposite sides of the hall-see each other. They have

been cheering on their respective friends, clapping in rhythm.

Now, as they s

TONY

You're not thinking I'm someone else?


MARIA

I know you are not.

TONY

Or that we have met before?



MARIA

I know we have not.

TONY

I felt, I knew something-never-before was going to happen, had to



happen. But this is-

MARIA [interrupting]

My hands are cold. [He takes them in his.] Yours, too. [He moves

her hand to his face.] So warm. [She moves his hands to her

face.]

TONY


Yours, too.

MARIA


But of course. They are the same.

TONY


It's so much to believe-you're not joking me?

MARIA


I have not yet learned how to joke that way. I think now I never

will.


[Impulsively, he stops to kiss her hands; then tenderly,

innocently, her lips. The music bursts out, the lights flare up,

and Bernardo is upon them in an icy rage.]

BERNARDO


Go home, "American."

TONY


Slow down, Bernardo.

BERNARDO


Stay away from my sister!

TONY


...Sister?

[Riff steps up.]

BERNARDO [to Maria]

Couldn't you see he's one of them?

MARIA

No; I saw only him.



BERNARDO [as Chino comes up]

I told you; there's one thing they want from a Puerto Rican girl!

TONY

That's a lie!



RIFF

Cool, boy.

Chino [to Tony]

Get away.

TONY

You keep out, Chino. [To Maria:] Don't listen to them!


BERNARDO

She will listen to brother before-

RIFF [overlapping]

If you characters want to settle-

GLAD HAND

Please! Everything was going so well! Do you fellows get pleasure

out of making trouble? Now come on-it won't hurt you to have a

good time.

[Music starts again. Bernardo is on one side with Maria and

Chino; Anita joins them. Tony is on the other with Riff and

Diesel. Light emphasizes the first group.]

BERNARDO


I warned you-

CHINO


Do not yell at her, 'Nardo.

BERNARDO


You yell at babies.

ANITA


And put ideas in the baby's head.

BERNARDO


Take her home, Chino.

MARIA


'Nardo, it is my first dance.

BERNARDO


Please. We are family, Maria. Go.

[Maria hesitates, then starts out with Chino as the light follows

her to the other group, which she passes.]

RIFF [to Diesel, indicating Tony happily]

I guess the kid's with us for sure now.

[Tony doesn't even hear; he is starting at Maria, who stops

for a moment.]

CHINO


Come, Maria.

[They continue out.]

TONY

Maria...


[He is unaware that Bernardo is crossing toward him, but

Riff intercepts.]

BERNARDO

I don't want you.

RIFF

I want you, though. For a war council-Jets and Sharks.



BERNARDO

The pleasure is all mine.

RIFF

Let's go outside.



BERNARDO

I would not leave the ladies here alone. We will meet you in half

an hour.

RIFF


Doc's drugstore? [Bernardo nods.] And no jazz before then.

BERNARDO


I understand the rules-Native Boy.

[The lights is fading on them, on everyone but Tony.]

RIFF

Spread the word, Diesel.



DIESEL

Right, Daddy-o.

RIFF

Let's get the chicks and kick it. Tony?



TONY

Maria...


[Music stars.]

RIFF [in darkness]

Tony!

DIESEL [in darkness]


Ah, we'll see him at Doc's.

TONY [speaking dreamily over the music-he is now standing

alone in the light]

The most beautiful sound I ever heard.

VOICES [off stage:]

Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria...

TONY

All the beautiful words of the world in a single word:


VOICES [off stage:]

Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria...

[Swelling in intensity.]

TONY


Maria!

I've just met a girl named Maria,

And suddenly that name

Will never be the same

To me.

Maria!


I've just kissed a girl named Maria,

And suddenly I've found

How wonderful a sound

Can be!


Maria!

Say it loud and there's music playing-

Say it soft and it's almost like praying-

Maria...

I'll never stop saying

Maria!


The most beautiful sound I ever heard.

Maria


CHORUS [offstage, against Tony's obbligato:]

I've just met a girl named Maria,

And suddenly that name

Will never be the same

To me.

Maria-


I've just kissed a girl named Maria,

And suddenly I've found

How wonderful a sound

Can be!


TONY

Maria-


Say it loud and there's music playing-

Say it soft and it's almost like praying-

Maria-

I'll never stop saying Maria!



The most beautiful sound I ever heard-

Maria.


[During the song, the sate behind Tony has gone dark; by the time

he has finished, it is set for the next scene.]

SCENE FIVE.

11:00 P.M. A back alley.

A suggestion of buildings; a fire escape climbing to the

rear window of an unseen flat.

As Tony sings, he looks for where Maria lives, wishing for

her. And she does appear, at the window above him, which opens

onto the fire escape. Music stays beneath most of the scene.

TONY [sings:]

Maria, Maria...

MARIA


Ssh!

TONY


Maria!

MARIA

Quiet!

TONY


Come down.

MARIA


No.

TONY


Maria...

MARIA


Please. If Bernardo-

TONY


He's at the dance. Come down.

MARIA


He will soon bring Anita home.

TONY


Just for a minute.

MARIA [smiles]

A minute is not enough.

TONY [smiles]

For an hour then.

MARIA


I cannot.

TONY


Forever!

MARIA


Ssh!

TONY


Then I'm coming up.

WOMAN'S VOICE [from the offstage apartment]

Maria!

MARIA


Momentito, Mama...

TONY [climbing up]

Maria, Maria-

MARIA


Cállate! [Reaching her hand out to stop him.] Ssh!

TONY [grabbing her hand]

Ssh!

MARIA


It is dangerous.

TONY


I'm not "one of them."

MARIA


You are; but to me, you are not. Just as I am one of them-[she

gestures toward the apartment.]

TONY

To me, you are all the-



[She covers his mouth with her hand.]

MAN'S VOICE [from the unseen apartment]

Maruca!

MARIA


Sí, ya vengo, Papa.

TONY


Maruca?

MARIA


His pet name for me.

TONY


I like him. He will like me.

MARIA


No. He is like Bernardo: afraid. [Suddenly laughing.] Imagine

being afraid of you!

TONY

You see?


MARIA [touching his face]

I see you.

TONY

See only me.



MARIA [sings:]

Only you, you're the only thing I'll see forever.

In my eyes, in my words and in everything I do,

Nothing else but you

Ever!

TONY


And there's nothing for me but Maria,

Every sight that I see is Maria.

MARIA

Tony, Tony...


TONY

Always you , every thought I'll ever know,

Everywhere I go, you'll be.

MARIA


All the world is only you and me!

[And now the buildings, the world fade away, leaving them

suspended in space.]

Tonight, tonight,

It all began tonight,

I saw you and the world went away.

Tonight, tonight,

There's only you tonight,

What you are, what you do, what you say.

TONY


Today, all day I had the feeling

A miracle would happen-

I know now I was right.

For here you are

And what was just a world is a star

Tonight!


BOTH

Tonight, tonight,

The world is full of light,

With suns and moons all over the place.

Tonight, tonight,

The world is wild and bright,

Going mad, shooting stars into space.

Today the world was just an address,

A place for me to live in,

No better than all right,

But here you are

And what was just a world is a star

Tonight!

MAN'S VOICE [offstage]

Maruca!

MARIA


Wait for me! [She goes inside as the buildings begin to come back

into place.]

TONY [sings]

Tonight, tonight,

It all began tonight,

I saw you and the world went away.

MARIA [returning]

I cannot stay. Go quickly!

TONY

I'm not afraid.



MARIA

They are strict with me. Please.

TONY [kissing her]

Good night.

MARIA

Buenos noches.



TONY

I love you.

MARIA

Yes, yes. Hurry. [He climbs down.] Wait! When will I see you? [He



starts back up.] No!

TONY


Tomorrow.

MARIA


I work at the bridal shop. Come there.

TONY


At sundown.

MARIA


Yes. Good night.

TONY


Good night. [He starts off.]

MARIA

Tony!

TONY


Ssh!

MARIA


Come to the back door.

TONY


Si. [Again he starts out.]

MARIA


Tony! [He stops. A pause.] What does Tony stand for?

TONY


Anton.

MARIA


Te adoro, Anton.

TONY


Te adoro, Maria.

[Both sing as music starts again:]

Good night, good night,

Sleep well and when you dream,

Dream of me

Tonight.


[She goes inside; He ducks out into the shadows just as Bernardo

and Anita enter, followed by Indio, and Pep and their girls. One

is a bleached-blond, bangled beauty: Consuelo. The other, more

quietly dressed, is Rosalia. She is not too bright.]

BERNARDO [Looking up to the window.]

Maria?


ANITA

She also has a mother. Also a father.

BERNARDO

They do not know the country any better than she does.

ANITA

You do not know it all! Girls here are free to have fun. She-is-



in-America-now.

BERNARDO [exaggerated]

But Puerto-Rico-is-in-America-now!

ANITA [in disgust]

Ai!

BERNARDO [cooing]



Anita Josefina Teresita-

ANITA


It's plain Anita now-

BERNARDO [continuing through]

-Beatriz del Carmen Margarita, etcetera, etcetera-

ANITA


Immigrant!

BERNARDO [pulling her to him]

Thank God, you can't change your hair!

PEPE [fondling Consuelo's bleached mop]

Is that possible?

CONSUELO


In the U.S.A., everything is real.

BERNARDO [to Chino, who enters]

Chino, how was she when you took her home?

CHINO


All right. 'Nardo, she was only dancing.

BERNARDO


With an "American." Who is really a Polack.

ANITA

Says the Spic.

BERNARDO


You are not so cute.

ANITA


That Tony is.

ROSALIA


And he works.

CHINO


A delivery boy.

ANITA


And what are you?

CHINO


An assistant.

BERNARDO


Sí! And Chino makes half what the Polack makes-the Polack is

American! [A burlesque oration in mock Puerto Rican accent.

Bernardo starts the first line with her.] The mother of Tony was

born in Poland; the father still goes to a night school. Tony was

born in America, so that makes him an American. But us?

Foreigners!

PEPE and CONSUELO

Lice!


PEPE, CONSUELO, ANITA

Cockroaches!

BERNARDO

Well, it is true! You remember how we were when we first came!

Did we even think of going back?

BERNARDO and ANITA

No! We came ready, eager-

ANITA [mocking]

With our hearts open-

CONSUELO


Our arms open-

PEPE


You came with your pants open.

CONSUELO


You did, pig! [Slaps him.] You'll go back with handcuffs!

BERNARDO


I am going back with a Cadillac!

CHINO


Air-conditioned!

BERNARDO


Built-in bar!

CHINO


Telephone!

BERNARDO


Television!

CHINO


Compatible color!

BERNARDO


And a king-sized bed. [Grabs Anita.] Come on.

ANITA [mimicking]

Come on.

BERNARDO


Well, are you or aren't you?

ANITA


You have your big, important war council. The council or me?

BERNARDO


First one, then the other.

ANITA [breaking away from him]

I am an American girl now. I don't wait.

BERNARDO [to Chino]

Back home, women know their place.

ANITA

Back home, little boys don't have war councils.

BERNARDO


You want me to be an American? [To the boys.] Vámonos, chicos, Es

tarde. [A mock bow.] Buenos noches, Anita Josefina del Carmen,

etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

[He exits with the boys.]

ROSALIA

That's a very pretty name: Etcetera.



ANITA

Ai!


CONSUELO

She means well.

ROSALIA

We have many names at home.



ANITA [mimicking]

At home, at home. If it's so nice "at home," why don't you go

back there?

ROSALIA


I would like-[A look from Anita.]-just for a successful visit.

[She sings nostalgically:]

Puerto Rico...

You lovely island...

Island of tropical breezes.

Always the pineapples growing,

Always the coffee blossoms blowing...

ANITA


Puerto Rico...

You ugly island...

Island of tropic diseases.

Always the hurricanes blowing,

Always the population growing...

And the money owing,

And the babies crying,

And the bullets flying.

I like the island Manhattan-

Smoke on your pipe and put that in!

[all, except Rosalia:]

I like to be in America!

OK by me in America!

Everything free in America

For a small fee in America!

ROSALIA


I like the city of San Juan-

ANITA


I know a boat you can get on.

ROSALIA


Hundreds of flowers in full bloom-

ANITA


Hundreds of people in each room!

[all except Rosalia:]

Automobile in America,

Chromium steel in America,

Wire-spoke wheel in America-

Very big deal in America-

ROSALIA

I'll drive a Buick to San Juan-



ANITA

If there's a road you can drive on.

ROSALIA

I'll give my cousin a free ride-


ANITA

How you get all of them inside?

[all except Rosalia:]

An immigrant goes to America,

Many hellos in America;

Nobody knows in America

Puerto Rico's in America.

[The girls whistle and dace.]

ROSALIA

When will I go back to San Juan-


ANITA

When you will shut up and get gone!

ROSALIA

I'll give them new washing machine-



ANITA

What have they got there to keep clean?

[all except Rosalia:]

I like the shores of America!

Comfort is yours in America!

Knobs on the doors in America,

Wall-to-wall floors in America!

[They whistle and dance.]

ROSALIA

I'll bring TV to San Juan



ANITA

If there's a current to turn on.

ROSALIA

Everyone there will get big cheer!



ANITA

Everyone there will have moved here!

[The song ends in a joyous dance.]

The Lights Black Out.

SCENE SIX.

Midnight. The drugstore.

A suggestion of a run-down, musty general store which, in

cities, is called a drugstore. A door leading to the street

outside; another leading to the cellar below.

Baby John is reading a comic book; A-rab is playing

solitaire; Anybodys is huddled by the jukebox: Action is watching

the street door. The atmosphere is tense, jumpy. Action slams the

door and strides to the dart board.

ACTION


Where the devil are they? Are we havin' a war council tonight or

ain't we? [He throws a dart savagely.]

BABY JOHN

He don't use knives. He don't even use an atomic ray gun.

A-RAB

Superman. Gee, I love him.



SNOWBOY

So marry him.

ANYBODYS

I ain't never gonna get married: too noisy.

A-RAB

You ain't never gonna get married: too ugly.



ANYBODYS ["shooting" him]

Pow pow!

A-RAB

Cracko, jacko! [Clutching his belly, he spins to the floor.] Down

goes a teen-age hoodlum.

BABY JOHN

Could a zip gun make you do like that?

[A second of silence. Then Snowboy slams into the room and they

all jump.]

ACTION


What the hell's a matter with you?

SNOWBOY


I got caught sneakin' outa the movies.

A-RAB


Sneakin' out? Whadd'ya do that for?

SNOWBOY


I sneaked in.

ACTION


A ware council comin' up and he goes to the movies.

ANYBODYS


And you let him be a Jet!

BABY JOHN

Ah, go walk the streets like ya sister.

ANYBODYS [jumping him]

Lissen, jail bait, I licked you twice and I can do it again.

[From the doorway behind the counter a little middle-aged man

enters: Doc.]

DOC


Curfew, gentlemen. And lady. Baby John, you should be home in

bed.


BABY JOHN

We're gonna have a ware council here, Doc.

DOC

A who?


A-RAB

To decide on weapons for a big-time rumble!

SNOWBOY

We're gonna mix with the PRs.



DOC

Weapons. You couldn't play basketball?

ANYBODYS

Get with it, buddy boy.

DOC

War councils-



ACTION

Don't start, Doc.

DOC

Rumbles...



ACTION

Doc-


DOC

Why, when I was your age-

ACTION

When you was my age; when my old man was my age; when my brother



was my age! You was never my age, none a you! The sooner you

creeps get a hip to that, the sooner you'll dig us.

DOC

I'll dig you early graves, that's what I'll do.



A-RAB

Dig, dig, dig-

DOC

What're you gonna be when you grow up?



ANYBODYS [wistfully.]

A telephone call girl!

[The store doorbell tinkles as Riff enters with Velma.]

SNOWBOY


Riff, hey!

ACTION


Are they comin'?

RIFF


Unwind, Action. Hey, Doc, Tony here?

DOC

No, Riff, it's closing time.

ACTION [to Riff]

What d'ya think they're gonna ask for?

A-RAB


Just rubber hoses, maybe, huh?

RIFF


Cool, little men. Easy, freezy cool.

VELMA




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