Monday, April 15, 2024

UPDATE: Sorting Out the Mysterious Announcement of an Unlikely “West Side Story” Sequel as Told in


UPDATE 12/30/21: Marc Hershberg wrote a follow up story to his original one about all this. Here’s the link. Hershberg tells me he wrote what he was told by all the people involved, and that they changed their tune once they realized a real “West Side Story” sequel would never be allowed. So I’ll cut him some slack.



There is no sequel to “West Side Story” coming. We will not be getting the Further Adventures of Maria After Tony Dies.

But, still using a network of amateurs to fill its website pages, posted an announcement of such a project two days ago. It was actually called “‘West Side Story’ Sequel In The Works As Ethnic Groups Reclaim Their Stories” by someone named Marc A. Hershberg. His bio says he coves the business of theater. He’s also an entertainment lawyer, he says.

Well, now, the musical to which he was referring is called “Maria,” but the connections to “West Side Story” don’t exist. It’s being written by Steven Sapp and his, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp. They participated in a YouTube discussion that Hershberg — like most of the geniuses– misinterpreted.

Today Long Wharf Theater in New Haven had to issue a denial and explanation of their “Maria,” which you can see below. The YouTube discussion is below that.

“West Side Story” is owned by the estates of Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, and Shakespeare. They’ll be lucky to survive the current Spielberg movie (actually, it’s great) but there will be no sequels., as usual, is another planet. And the Herhberg story is still up on the site.  My guess is, a rumble comes next.

PS Thanks to David Gordon of the Outer Critics Circle, who pointed this out on Twitter.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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