Birge's Picks

Birge's Picks: Something's coming — finally!

Rita Moreno will reappear in Steven Speilberg's adaptation of 'West Side Story.'Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for AFI

Check out John Birge's picks for this week

April 26, 2021

After a year’s COVID delay, Steven Spielberg’s new movie of West Side Story is coming. The first trailer hit the small screen during last night’s Oscar awards. Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim score.

The cast includes a relative newcomer Rachel Zegler (Maria), and Ariana DeBose (Anita), who is not a newcomer; she got a Tony nomination playing Donna Summer on Broadway.

The actor who played Anita in the original 1961 movie returns, sixty years later, in a different role: Rita Moreno plays Valentina, a new version of the character of Doc in this new screenplay from Tony Kushner.  

Look for West Side Story to open around Christmas. Meanwhile, check out the trailer for Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It, a new documentary about the obstacles she overcame, and the path she broke for Latinx artists on stage and screen.  It will screen as part of at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Film Festival in May.