FIrst and foremost, there is a difference between the musical West SIde Story directed by Jerome Robbins and the play Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare seen in the first scene of each. In Shakespeare’s tragic play, two houses are feuding. The two royal houses are the Capulets and the Montagues. Juliet is a Capulet and Romeo is a Montague. And then in West Side Story, there are two gangs in New York that each lover’s family is a part of. Maria’s brother is a part of the Puerto Rican gang called ‘The Sharks’ and her lover, Tony, was a part of the caucasian gang ‘The Jets’. Secondly, after their parties there is a balcony scene in each. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo comes into Juliet’s courtyard and speaks up to her as she stands on her balcony. But this differs from the scene in West Side Story. In the musical, Tony comes up to join Maria on her balcony. Next, both couples want to get married. Romeo and Juliet are secretly wed and it is no big deal because there were less rules set in this time period. In West Side Story however, Tony and Maria cannot necessarily be married due to the actions that could follow. For example, one of Maria’s friends was angry and went after Tony, and they weren’t even wed yet. For example, this part of the movie when a guy named Chino is after Tony and he has a gun. (Robins) Clearly, the situation would have been worse if their love had been found out about. Lastly, they both want to run away together so they can be together without it being a big problem. For example, Romeo gets banished from Verona, his hometown. So he leaves and tells Juliet to meet up with him outside the town so they can be together without a hassle. In West Side Story, Tony was being hunted down by a gang member. He runs to Maria and they devise a plan of how they can get away together.
“Tony: Not here. They won't let us be.
Maria: Then we'll run away.
Tony: Yeah, we can.
Maria: Yes.” (Robbins)
The directors of West Side Story made these changes for a few reasons. One of them being that they wanted to show a...