tufts universitytufts magazine issue homepage
contact us back issues related links
features columns jumbolaya planet tufts newswire the big day Departments The Issue Letters Bookshelf Afterimage
Photo: Martha Swope


Something’s Coming

The advent of West Side Story

When it opened in September 1957, West Side Story packed such a wallop that one reviewer raved: “The radioactive fallout . . . must still be descending on Broadway this morning.” Sylvia (Drulie) Mazzola, J48, the show’s associate producer, was at ground zero. That’s Sylvia with the handbag in this shot taken at an early rehearsal by the dance photographer Martha Swope. Sylvia is flanked by (from left): Bobby Griffith and Hal Prince (producers), Jerome Robbins (director and choreographer), Stephen Sondheim (lyricist), Leonard Bernstein (composer), Arthur Laurents (author of the book) and his assistant, and Peter Gennaro (choreographer). Sylvia helped produce many other hits, including the original Music Man and shows starring Claudette Colbert, Tony Randall, Zero Mostel, Roddy McDowell, and Shelly Winters. Later, she served on the boards of the Alvin Ailey and Tricia Brown dance companies and other arts groups.

When Laurents’ new production of West Side Story opened earlier this year, she took her grandkids “so they could see what Grandma did when she was little.” And there’s another milestone in the offing: the fiftieth anniversary of the day she and John W. Mazzola, A49, former president of Lincoln Center, became (as the song goes) one hand, one heart.

  © 2009 Tufts University Tufts Publications, 80 George St., Medford, MA 02155