Music Theatre International, which handles licensing rights for stock and amateur theater productions of tons of musicals, has announced there will be no productions of West Side Story authorized for performance in North Carolina or Mississippi.
MTI serves as an agent for the rightsholders whose shows we represent. The rightsholders of this show have made their intentions clear and MTI will not issue new licenses for this show within North Carolina or Mississippi until we receive new instructions.
As regular readers of The Randy Report know, both North Carolina and Mississippi have recently passed anti-LGBT legislation in their respective states.
I'm guessing the folks who oversee the rights by the creators of West Side Story (Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein) don't want their work to appear where anti-LGBT animus is apparent.
Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) has recently made a similar announcement about the rights to his work in North Carolina.