"But what stays in my mind, as the very picture of terror, is the scene in the drug store, when the Jets sing a song called "Keep Cool, Man." I think I have never heard or seen anything more frightening. (It goes without saying that I think the music so brilliant I have no words to use for it.) I found that a sort of indicator of madness: the mad obsession with nothing, the nerves insanely and constantly stretched--with no way to rest, no place to go; the emptiness of the undirected minds, whose only occupation could be violence and a terrible macabre play-acting. If a man can be nothing, he can pretend to be a hoodlum and feel like a somebody. I couldn't breathe, watching and hearing that; it looks to me like doom, as much as these repeated H-bomb tests, with the atmosphere of the world steadily more and more irrevocably poisoned. I think that drug store and the H-bomb tests are of the same family."
- Martha Gellhorn, letter to Leonard Bernstein after seeing West Side Story