Sunday, June 5, 2016

Larry Kert, Broadway's original "West Side Story" Tony, passed away 25 years ago today

Larry Kert, the original Tony in Broadway's West Side Story, passed away 25 years ago today of complications from HIV/AIDS.

Kert starred in a number of original Broadway productions, including Cabaret and Company, as well as in the touring companies of several Broadway productions.

The openly gay Kert is best known for having originated the role of romantic lead Tony in the 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story.

The musical, based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, was the brainchild of creative team Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, and Arthur Laurents. Kert became famous for his passionate delivery of songs "Something's Coming", "Maria", and "Tonight". Carol Lawrence starred opposite Kert as Maria.

Kert was survived by his partner Ron Pullen. Both had tested HIV+ in 1985.

• Larry Kert's New York Times obituary

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