Bernstein: On The Town

James Judd leads for NZSO for Bernstein's Three Dance Episodes from the musical On The Town.


11 minutes 38 seconds

Performance Date



James Judd
20th Century
North American

Featured Artists


Bernstein On The Town: Three Dance Episodes
I. The Great Lover Displays Himself
II. Lonely Town: Pas de Dues
III. Times Square: 1944

James Judd Conductor

It was in the genre of musical theatre that Bernstein made his name. But, before West Side Story, the work that turned Bernstein into a major star with the masses, there was On The Town, a musical based on Jerome Robbins'1944 ballet, Fancy Free. In On The Town, three sailors alight in New York with 24 hours' shore leave and an appetite for big city adventure.

The suite performed is comprised of three of the musical numbers: firstly, The Great Lover Displays Himself, when one of the more romantic protagonist dreams of sweeping a girl off her feet; a tender and melancholy pas de deux set to the tune Lonely Town; and, Times Square: 1944, with all the brightly lit hustle and bustle that the name implies. Listen out for a rhythmic quote from New York, New York, "It's a Helluva Town!"