West side story

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Oo, oo, ooblee-oo.

[Diesel enters with a would-be grand number: Graziella.]

DIESEL

They're comin' any minute now!



ACTION

Chung chung!

A-RAB

Cracko, jacko!



VELMA

Ooblee-oo.

RIFF [sharply]

Cool!


ANYBODYS

Riff-in a tight spot you need every man you-

RIFF

No.


GRAZIELLA [indicating Anybodys to Velma]

An American tragedy.

ANYBODYS ["shooting" to her]

Pow.


GRAZIELLA

Poo.


VELMA

Ooblee-pooh.

[They giggle.]

RIFF


Now when the victims come in, you chicks cut out.

GRAZIELLA

We might, and then again, we might not.

DIESEL


This ain't kid stuff, Graziella.

GRAZIELLA

I and Velma aint kid stuff, neither. Are we, Vel?

VELMA


No thank you-oo, ooblee-oo.

GRAZIELLA

And you can punctuate it?

VELMA


Ooo!

[They giggle again.]

ACTION [to Riff]

What're we poppin' around with dumb broads?

GRAZIELLA

I and Velma ain't dumb!

ACTION

We got important business comin'



DOC

Makin' trouble for the Puerto Ricans?

SNOWBOY

They make trouble for us.



DOC

Look! He almost laughs when he says it. For you, trouble is a

relief.

RIFF


We've got to stand up to the PRs, Doc. It's important.

DOC


Fighting over a little piece of the street is so important?

ACTION


To us, it is.

DOC


To hoodlums, it is. [He goes out through the cellar doorway as

Action lunges for him.]

ACTION

Don't you call me hoodlum!


RIFF [holding him]

Easy, Action! Save your steam for the rumble.

A-RAB

He don't want what we want, so we're hoodlums!


BABY JOHN

I wear a jacket like my buddies, so my teacher calls me hoodlum!

ACTION

I swear, the next creep who calls me hoodlum-



RIFF

You'll laugh! Yeah. Now you all better dig this and dig it the

most. No matter who or what is eatin' at you, you show it, buddy

boys, and you are dead. You are cuttin' a hole in yourselves for

them to stick in a red-hot umbrella and open it. Wide. You wanna

live? You play it cool.

[Music starts.]

ACTION


I wanna get even!

RIFF


Get cool.

A-RAB


I wanna bust!

RIFF


Bust cool.

RIFF


Go cool!

Boy, boy, crazy boy-

Get cool, boy!

Got a rocket in your pocket-

Keep coolly cool, boy!

Don't get hot,

'Cause, man, you got

Some high times ahead.

Take it slow and, Daddy-o,

You can live it up and die in bed!

Boy, boy, crazy boy-

Stay loose, boy!

Breeze it, buzz it, easy does it-

Turn off the juice, boy!

Go man, go,

But not like a yo

Yo school boy-

Just play it cool, boy.

Real cool!

Easy, Action.

Easy.

[This leads into a frenetic dance in which the boys and girls


release their emotions and get "cool." It finishes, starts again

when a Jet bounces in with the gang whistle. Everyone but Riff

and Velma stops dancing. A moment, then Bernardo, Chino, Pepe and

Indio enter. The tinkle of the doorbell brings a moment longer.

Then he pats Velma on her behind. Followed by Graziella, she runs

out, slithering past the Sharks. Anybodys is back, huddled by the

jukebox, but Riff spots her. He gives him a pleading let-me-stay

look, but he gestures for her to go. Unlike the other girls, as

she exits, Anybodys shoves the Sharks like a big tough man.]

RIFF


Set 'em up, Doc. Cokes all around.

BERNARDO


Let's get down to business.

RIFF


Bernardo hasn't learned the procedures of gracious livin'.

BERNARDO


I don't like you, either. So cut it.

RIFF


Kick it, Doc.

DOC


Boys, couldn't you maybe all talk it-

RIFF


Kick it!

[Do goes out. The two gangs take places behind their

leaders.]

RIFF


We challenge you to a rumble. All out, once and for all. Accept?

BERNARDO


On what terms?

RIFF


Whatever terms you're callin', buddy boy. You crossed the line

once too often.

BERNARDO

You started it.

RIFF

Who jumped A-rab this afternoon?



BERNARDO

Who jumped me the first day I moved here?

RIFF

Who asked you to moved here?



BERNARDO

Who asked you?

SNOWBOY

Move where you're wanted!



A-RAB

Back where ya came from!

ACTION

Spics!


PEPE

Micks!


INDIO

Wop!


BERNARDO

We accept!

RIFF

Time:


BERNARDO

Tomorrow?

RIFF

The river.



BERNARDO

Under the highway.

[They shake.]

RIFF


Weapons!

BERNARDO


Weapons...

RIFF


You call.

BERNARDO


You're challenge.

RIFF


Afraid to call?

BERNARDO


...Sticks.

RIFF


...Rocks.

BERNARDO


...Poles.

RIFF


...Cans.

BERNARDO


...Bricks.

RIFF


...Bats.

BERNARDO


...Clubs.

TONY

Bottles, knives, guns! [They stare.] What a coop full of

chickens!

BERNARDO

Every dog knows his own.

TONY

I'm callin' all of you chicken. The big touch buddy boys have to


throw bricks! Afraid to get close in? Afraid to slug it out?

Afraid to use plain skin?

BABY JOHN

Not even garbage?

ACTION

That ain't ruble.



RIFF

Who says?

BERNARDO

You said call weapons.

TONY

A rumble can be clinched by a fair fight. If you have the guts to



risk that. Best man from each gang to slug it out.

BERNARDO [looking at Tony]

I'd enjoy to risk that. O.K.! Fair fight!

PEPE


What?

ACTION [simultaneously]

No!

RIFF


The commanders say yes or no. [To Bernardo.] Fair fight.

[They shake.]

BERNARDO [To Tony.]

In two minutes you will be like a fish after skinnin'.

RIFF

Your best man fights our best man-and we pick him.



[Claps Diesel on the shoulder.]

BERNARDO


But I thought it would be-

RIFF


We shook on it, Bernardo.

BERNARDO


Yes. I shook on it.

ACTION [quickly]

Look, Bernardo, if you wanna change your mind, maybe we could

all-


[One of the Jets near the door suddenly whistles. Instantly, they

shift positions so they are mixed up, no segregation. Silence;

then in comes Schrank. During the following, the gangs are

absolutely silent and motionless, unless otherwise indicated.]

Good evening, Lieutenant Schrank. I and Tony was just closing up.

SCHRANK [lifting a pack of cigarettes]

Mind?

DOC

I have no mind. I am the village idiot.

SCHRANK [lighting a cigarette]

I always make it a rule to smoke in the can. And what else is a

room with half-breeds in it, eh, Riff? [Bernardo's move is

checked by Riff. Schrank speaks again, pleasantly.] Clear out,

Spics. Sure; it's a free country and I ain't got the right. But

it's a country with laws: and I can find the right. I got the

badge, you got the skin. It's tough all over. Beat it! [A second.

Then Riff nods once to Bernardo, who nods to his gang. Slowly,

they file out. Bernardo starts to whistle "My Country 'Tis of

Thee" as he exits proudly. His gang joins in, finishing a

sardonic jazz lick offstage. Schrank, still pleasant.] From their

angle, sure. Say, where's the rumble gonna be? Ah, look: I know

regular American don't rub with the gold=teeth otherwise. The

river? The park? [Silence.] I'm for you. I want this beat cleaned

up and you can do it for me. I'll even lend a hand if it gets

rough. Where ya gonna rumble? The playground? Sweeney's lot?

[Angered by the silence.] Ya think I'm a lousy stool pigeon? I

wanna help ya get r

[He exits.]

DOC [indicating Schrank]

Wouldn't give me a mouth like his.

TONY

Forget him. From here on in, everything goes my way. [He starts


to clean up, to turn out the lights.]

DOC


You think it'll really be a fair fight.

TONY


Yeah.

DOC


What have you been takin' tonight?

TONY


A trip to the moon. And I'll tell you a secret. It isn't a man

that's up there, Doc. It's a girl, a lady. [Opens the door.]

Buenos noches, señor.

DOC


Buenos noches?! So that's why you made it a fair fight. [Tony

smiles.] ...Tony... things aren't tough enough?

TONY

Tough? Doc, I'm in love.



DOC

How do you know?

TONY

Because... there isn't any other way I could feel.



DOC

And you're not frightened?

TONY

Should I be?



[He opens door, exits.]

DOC


Why? I'm frightened enough for both of you. [He turns out the

last light.]

The Stage is Dark.

SCENE SEVEN.

5:30 P.M. The next day. The bridal shop.

Hot late-afternoon sun coloring the workroom. One or two

sewing machines. Several dressmaker dummies, male and female, in

bridal-party garb.

Maria in a smock is hand-sewing a wedding veil as Anita

whirls in whipping off her smock.

ANITA

She's gone! The old bag of a bruja has gone!



MARIA

Bravo!


ANITA

The day is over, the jail is open, home we go!

MARIA

You go, querida. I will lock up.



ANITA

Finish tomorrow. Come!

MARIA

I am in no hurry.



ANITA

I am. I'm going to take a bubble bath all during supper: Black

Orchid.

MARIA


You will not eat?

ANITA


After the rumble-with 'Nardo.

MARIA [sewing angrily]

That rumble, why do they have it?

ANITA

You saw how they dance: like they have to get rid of something,

quick. That's how they fight.

MARIA

To get rid of what?


ANITA

Too much feeling. And they get rid of it: after a fight, that

brother of yours is so healthy! Definitely: Black Orchid.

[There is a knock at the rear door, and Tony enters.]

TONY

Buenas noches!



ANITA [sarcastically to Maria]

You go, querida. I will look up. [To Tony:] It's too early for

noches. Buenos tardes.

TONY [bows]

Gracias. Buenas tardes.

MARIA


He just came to deliver aspirin.

ANITA


You'll need it.

TONY


No, we're out of the world.

ANITA


You're out of your heads.

TONY


We're twelve feet in the air.

MARIA [gently taking his hand]

Anita can see all that. [To Anita:] You will not tell?

ANITA


Tell what? How can I hear what goes on twelve feet over my head?

[Opens door. To Maria:] You better be home in fifteen minutes.

[She goes out.]

TONY


Don't worry. She likes us!

MARIA


But she is worried.

TONY


She's foolish. We're untouchable; we are in the air; we have

magic!


MARIA

Magic is also evil and black. Are you going to that rumble?

TONY

No.


MARIA

Yes.


TONY

Why??


MARIA

You must go and stop it.

TONY

I have stopped it! It's only a fist fight. 'Nardo won't get-



MARIA

Any fight is not good for us.

TONY

Everything is good for us and we are good for everything.



MARIA

Listen and hear me. You must go and stop it.

TONY

Then I will.



MARIA [surprised]

Can you?

TONY

You don't want even a fist fight? There won't be any fight.

MARIA

I believe you! You do have magic.


TONY

Of course, I have you. You go home and dress up. Then tonight, I

will come by for you.

MARIA


You cannot come by. My mama...

TONY [after a pause]

Then I will take you to my house-

MARIA [shaking her head]

Your mama...

[Another awkward pause. Then he sees a female dummy and

pushes is forward.]

TONY


She will come running from the kitchen to welcome you. She lives

in the kitchen.

MARIA

Dressed so elegant?



TONY

I told her you were coming. She will look at your face and try

not to smile. And she will say: Skinny-but pretty.

MARIA


She is plump no doubt.

TONY [holding out the waist of dummy's dress]

Fat!

MARIA [indicating another female dummy]



I take after my mama; delicate-boned. [He kisses her.] Not in

front of Mama! [He turns the dummy around as she goes to a male

dummy.] Oh, I would like to see Papa in this! Mama will make him

ask about your prospects, if you go to church. But Papa-Papa

might like you.

TONY [kneeling to the "father" dummy]

May I have your daughter's hand?

TONY


Gracias!

MARIA


And your mama?

TONY


I'm afraid to ask her.

MARIA


Tell her she's not getting a daughter; she's getting rid of a

son!


TONY

She says yes.

MARIA

She has good taste. [She grabs up the wedding veil and puts it on



as Tony arranges the dummies.]

TONY


Maid of honor!

MARIA


That color is bad for Anita.

TONY


Best man!

MARIA


That is my papa!

TONY


Sorry, Pap. Here we go, Riff: Womb to Tomb! [He takes hat off

dummy.]

MARIA

Now you see, Anita, I told you there was nothing to worry about.

[Music starts as she leaves the dummy and walks up to Tony. They

look at each other-and the ply acting vanishes. Slowly,

seriously, they turn front, and together kneel as before an

altar.]


TONY

I, Anton, take thee Maria...

MARIA

I, Maria, take thee Anton...



TONY

For richer, for poorer...

MARIA

In sickness and in health...



TONY

To love and to honor...

MARIA

To hold and to keep...



TONY

From each sun to each moon...

MARIA

From tomorrow to tomorrow...



TONY

For now to forever...

MARIA

Till death do us part.



TONY

With this ring, I thee wed.

MARIA

With this ring, I thee wed.



TONY [sings]

Make of our hands one hand,

Make of our hearts one heart,

Make of our vows one last vow:

Only death will part us now.

MARIA


Make of our lives one life,

Day after day, one life.

BOTH

Now it begins, now we start



One hand, one heart-

Even death won't part us now.

[They look at each other, then at the reality of their "game."

They smile tenderly, ruefully, and slowly put the dummies back

into position. Though brought back to earth, they continue to

sing.]

Make of our lives one life,

Day after day, one life.

Now it begins, now we start

One hand, one heart-

Even death won't part us now.

[Very gently, he kisses her hand.]

The Lights Fade Out.

SCENE EIGHT.

6:00 P.M. The neighborhood.

Spotlights pick out Riff and the Jets, Bernardo and the

Sharks, Anita, Maria and Tony against small sets representing

different places in the neighborhood. All are waiting expectantly

for the coming of night, but for very different reasons.

JETS [sings]

The Jets are gonna have their day

Tonight.


SHARKS

The Sharks are gonna have their way

Tonight.

JETS


The Puerto Rican grumble,

Fair fight.

But if they start a rumble,

We'll rumble 'em right.

SHARKS

We're gonna hand 'em a surprise



Tonight.

JETS


We're gonna cut 'em down to size

Tonight.


SHARKS

We said, "O.K., no rumpus,

No tricks"-

But just in case they jump us,

We're ready to mix

Tonight!


BOTH GANGS

We're gonna rock it tonight,

We're gonna jazz it up and have us a ball.

They're gonna get it tonight;

The more they turn it on, the harder they'll fall!

JETS


Well, they began it-

SHARKS


Well, they began it-

BOTH GANGS

And we're the ones to stop 'em once and for all,

Tonight!


ANITA

Anita's gonna get her kicks

Tonight.

We'll have our private little mix

Tonight.

He'll walk in hot and tired,

So what?

Don't matter if he's tired,

As long as he's hot

Tonight!


TONY

Tonight, tonight,

Won't be just any night,

Tonight there will be no morning star.

Tonight, tonight,

I'll see my love tonight

And for us, stars will stop where they are.

Today


The minutes seem like hours,

The hours go so slowly,

And still the sky is light...

Oh moon, grow bright,

And make this endless day endless night!

RIFF [to Tony]

I'm counting on you to be there

Tonight


When Diesel wins it fair and square

Tonight.


That Puerto Rican punk'll

Go down.

And when he's hollered Uncle

We'll tear up the town

Tonight!

MARIA


Tonight, tonight

Won't be just any night...

[She reprises the same chorus Tony has just sung.]

RIFF


So I can count on you, boy?

TONY


All right...

[Regretting his impatience.]

Womb to tomb!

RIFF


Sperm to worm!

I'll see you there about eight...

TONY

Tonight...



BERNARDO and SHARKS

We're gonna rock it tonight!!!

ANITA

Tonight...



[All have been singing at once, reprising the choruses they

sang before.]

BERNARDO and SHARKS

We're gonna jazz it tonight

They're gonna get it tonight-tonight.

They began it-they began it

And we're the ones

To stop 'em once and for all!

The Sharks are gonna have their way,

The Sharks are gonna have their day,

We're gonna rocks it tonight-

Tonight!


ANITA

Tonight,


Late tonight,

We're gonna mix it tonight.

Anita's gonna have her day,

Anita's gonna have her day,

Bernardo's gonna have his way

Tonight-tonight.

Tonight-this very night,

We're gonna rock it tonight,

Tonight!

RIFF and JETS

They began it.

They began it.

We'll stop 'em once and for all

The Jets are gonna have their day,

The Jets are gonna have their way,

We're gonna rock it tonight.

Tonight!

MARIA


Tonight there will be no morning star.

Tonight, tonight, I'll se my love tonight.

When we kiss, stars will stop where they are.

TONY and MARIA

Today the minutes seem like hours.

The hours go so slowly,

And still the sky is light.

Oh moon, grow bright,

And make this endless day endless night,

Tonight!

[The lights build with the music to the climax, and then blackout

at the final exultant note.]

SCENE NINE.

9:00 P.M. Under the highway.

A dead end: rotting plaster-and-brick walls and mesh wire

fences. A street lamp.

It is nightfall. The almost-silhouetted gangs come in from

separate sides: climbing over the fences or crawling through

holes in the walls. There is silence as they fan out on opposite

sides of the cleared space. Then Bernardo and Diesel remove their

jackets, handing them to their second: Chino and Riff.

BERNARDO


Ready.

CHINO


Ready!

DIESEL


Ready! Come center and shake hands.

BERNARDO


For what?

RIFF


That's how it's done, buddy boy.

BERNARDO


More gracious living? Look: I don't go for that pretend crap you

all go for in this country. Every one of you hates every one of

us, and we hate you right back. I don't drink with nobody I hate,

I don't shake hands with nobody I hate. Let's get at it.

RIFF

OK.


BERNARDO [moving toward center]

Here we go.

[Diesel begins to move toward him. There are encouragements

called from each sides. The "fair fight" is just beginning when

there is an interruption.]

TONY


Hold it! [He leaps over a fence and starts toward Bernardo.]

RIFF


Get with the gang.

TONY


No.

RIFF


What're you doing?

BERNARDO

Maybe he has found the guts to fight his own battles.

TONY [smiling]

It doesn't take guts if you have a battle. But we haven't got

one, 'Nardo. [He extends his hand for Bernardo to shake it.

Bernardo knocks the hand away and gives Tony a shove that sends

him sprawling.]

BERNARDO

Bernardo.

RIFF [quiet, strong]

The deal is a fair fight between and Diesel. [To Tony, who has

gotten up:] Get with the gang.

[During the following, Bernardo flicks Tony's shirt, pushes his

shoulder, pinches his cheek.]

BERNARDO [To Tony.]

I'll give you a battle, Kiddando.

DIESEL


You've got one.

BERNARDO


I'll take pretty boy on as a warm-up. Afraid, pretty boy? Afraid,

chicken? Afraid, gutless?

RIFF

Cut that-



TONY

I don't want to, Bernardo...

BERNARDO

I'm sure.

TONY

Bernardo, you've got it wrong.



BERNARDO

Are you chicken?

TONY

You won't understand!



BERNARDO

What d'ya say, chicken?

ACTION

Get him, Tony!



BERNARDO

He is chicken.

DIESEL

Tony-


A-RAB

Get him!


TONY

Bernardo, don't.

BERNARDO

Don't want, pretty little chicken?

RIFF

Tony, don't just stand-



BERNARDO

Yellow-bellied chicken-

RIFF

TONY!


ACTION

Murder him!

SNOWBOY

Kill him!


BERNARDO




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