Ordway Announces Cast of West Side Story
Jessica Petrie, Ordway 3/2/17
The Ordway is excited to present West Side Story, April 4-16. From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals ever written. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s New York City, where two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time. With an unforgettable score that includes such iconic songs as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “Maria” and “I Feel Pretty.”
The cast will feature Tyler Michaels as Tony, Evy Ortiz as Maria, Desiree Davar as Anita, Tyler John Logan as Riff, Alexander Gil Cruz as Bernardo and Dean Andre de Luna as Chino.
Rounding out the cast are Rush Benson, Bob Beverage, Morgen Chang, James Michael Detmar, Gabrielle Dominique, Mollie Fischer, Andy Frye, Larissa Gritti, Patrick Charles Jeffrey, Kayla Jenerson, Emily Madigan, Abby Magalee, Lauren Masiello, Dario Mejia, Giselle Mejia, Joey Miller, Bryan Charles Moore, Pedro Rangel, Mark Rosenwinkel, Ashley Selmer, Carl Schoenborn, Jordan Weagraff and Josh Zacher.
This Ordway production will be brought to life through a collaboration with artistic leaders from the Twin Cities community, including Teatro del Pueblo’s artistic director, Al Justiniano. The project is fueled by a collaborative investment by both organizations in the training of diverse artists in the Twin Cites community over a two-year process.
“With a show like West Side Story, we knew how important it was to involve our community. But, we also recognize that there are often disparities in the training opportunities young actors of color receive,” said James A. Rocco, Ordway’s vice president of programming and producing artistic director. “We’re thrilled to have been able to partner with Teatro del Pueblo to offer a series of free classes that cover the fundamentals of musical theater performance. Our goal is to not only prepare local actors to audition for shows like West Side Story and this fall’s In the Heights, but to also build equitable relationships, lift communities and engage diverse artists.”
West Side Story is directed by Bob Richard, with choreography by Diane Laurenson and musical direction by Raymond Berg. The production’s creative team includes James Youmans (scenic design), Karin Olson (lighting design), Andy Horka (sound design), Mark Koss (costume design), Rick Polenek (props design), Robert A. Dunn (hair and make-up design) and Reid Harmsen (casting).
West Side Story features music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents, with original concept and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It opened on Broadway in 1957, running for 732 performances and garnering six Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. In 1961, a film adaptation was released which received public and critical praise and went on to win 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.