By Imogen Lloyd Webber
Tonight, tonight! Skylar Astin and Bianca Marroquín will play Tony and Anita, respectively, in a Carnegie Hall presentation of West Side Story. Directed by Amanda Dehnert, performances will take place from March 4, 2016 through March 6 at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens.
Joining Astin (Spring Awakening, Pitch Perfect) and Marroquín (Chicago, In The Heights, The Pajama Game) will be newcomer Morgan Hernandez, who is set to take on the role of Maria. Additional cast members will be announced later.
West Side Story takes place in New York City in the mid-1950s amidst widespread racial and social tension. Tony is a Jet ready to leave the gang life behind. Maria is the sister of Sharks leader, Bernardo. When Tony and Maria unexpectedly meet and fall for each other, the tension that has been building between the rival gangs explodes. The beloved score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim features such classics as “Something’s Coming,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Tonight.”
Marin Alsop, a protégé of Bernstein’s, will serve as musical director and conductor, with professional artists in lead roles and the participation of more than 200 high school students from around the city both in the cast and in a chorus specially created for this presentation.
The production will feature choreography by Julio Monge and Sean Cheesman, musical supervision by Leslie Stifelman, scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Tracy Christensen, lighting design by Edward Pierce, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and technical direction by David Benken.