A Centennial Celebration

Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
November 18, 2018
St. Mark's School
Putnam Family Arts Center
25 Marlboro Road


Based on seat availability, regularly-priced tickets may be purchased at the door today for Leonard Bernstein: A Centennial Celebration.

Parking and Directions

On-site and off-site parking are both available. Free shuttle bus service directly to the Arts Center entrance from the off-site parking at the Woodward School, 28 Cordaville Road, Southborough, will run from 2:15 to 4:30 pm on concert day, November 18. After the concert, the shuttle bus will run from 5:30 until 6:45 pm to the off-site parking.

Click "More options" in the following maps for directions.

Directions to St. Mark's Putnam Family Arts Center, Southborough

Directions to Off-site Parking at the Woodward School, 28 Cordaville Road, Southborough

A Centennial Celebration

Leonard Bernstein — complicated, immensely talented, musician, composer, conductor, and teacher — made an indelible mark on late 20th century music with a wide range of compositions and inventive symphony programming.  This November in Southborough, experience Bernstein masterpieces – selections from his extraordinary Mass,  his landmark Broadway musical West Side Story, and “Make Our Garden Grow” from his well-known operetta Candide, based on the Voltaire novella. Also featured will be music from lessor known works –  "My House" from a 1950 adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and "Take Care of This House" from the 1976 Bernstein and Lerner Broadway musical, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Bernstein wrote Mass at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the September 1971 inauguration of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  Though Jewish by birth, he chose the Roman Catholic Mass for the context of this 110 minute musical event, transforming a 400-year rite “into a tense, dramatic dialog with music and lyrics of the 20th century vernacular, using this dialectic to explore the crisis in faith and cultural breakdown of the post-Kennedy era.” [from Leonard Bernstein at 100]

Realizing that help was needed to meet his deadline for this ambitious undertaking, Bernstein recruited lyricist and composer, Stephen Schwartz (Godspell and Pippin) to help with the lyrics. Their joint vision was for a fully staged, dramatic pageant. In its Centennial Celebration program, the Chorale will present Doreen Rao’s 40 minute adaptation of Mass for soloists and chorus.

The November concert will also feature a 20-minute Choral Suite of West Side Story, including “Something's Coming”, “Tonight”, “Maria”, “One Hand, One Heart”, “I Feel Pretty”, “Cool”, “America”, and “Somewhere.”  This impressive list of unforgettable songs is only part of the reason that West Side Story has made such a lasting impression. Musical theater audiences not only bonded with its music, but also with its consideration of the power of love to overcome class and racial prejudice.

The stage production — a collaboration among Bernstein, Jerome Robbins (conception and choreography), Arthur Laurents (book), and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) — opened at the National Theater, Washington D.C. on August 12, 1957.  Its Broadway opening was on September 26, 1957 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The film, West Side Story, earned ten Oscars and the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1961.

The story of the musical's development, from conception to production, is fascinating. Much of it is available on the following link to leonardbernstein.com.