By Andrew Gans
Complete casting has been announced for Carnegie Hall's large-scale revival of West Side Story, which will be presented March 4-6 at the Knockdown Center, a restored 50,000-square-foot factory located in Queens. As previously reported, the cast will be headed by Spring Awakening and "Pitch Perfect" singing actor Skylar Astin as Tony, Bianca Marroquín (Chicago, In The Heights, The Pajama Game) as Anita and Morgan Hernandez, an 18-year-old currently studying at the Boston Conservatory, who will make her New York debut as Maria.
Anita and Bernardo
Maria and Tony
These artists will be joined by Donald Jones, Jr., Bernardo; Manuel Stark, Riff; Chuck Cooper, Doc/Krupke; Peter Gerety, Schrank; Alex Aquilino, Nibbles; Kaitlyn Benzant, Shark Girl 8*; Angel Blanco, Toro; Olutayo Bosede, Gee-Tar; Kendall Carter, Margarita*; Ariana Crowder, Indio; Karli Dinardo, Graziella; Zack Everhart, Mouthpiece; Emanuel Figueroa, Big Deal*; Hannah Florence, Francisca Alexis Garcia, Clarice*; Fabian Garcia, Tiger*; Sebastian Garcia, Moose*; Damon J. Gillespie, Chino; Reyna Guerra, Pauline*; Anijah Lezama, Estella*; Sam Lips, Action; Alexa Maetta, Anybodys*; Robin Masella, Velma; Raymond Joel Matsamura, A-Rab; Melissa Hunter McCann, Teresita; Dashi Mitchell, Pepe; Emilio Ramos, Baby John; Julian Ramos, Luis; Hallie Richardson, Shark Girl 9*; Sydney Richardson, Jet Girl 9*; Alex Ringler, Diesel; Jillian Schear, Jet Girl 8*; Sherisse Springer, Minnie; Clay Thomson, Snowboy; James Tolbert, Juano; Martina Viadana, Shark Girl 7*; Jessica Walker, Consuelo; Michelle West, Rosalia; Ricardo Zayas, Anxious; and Daniella Zunic, Jet Girl 7*. The cast includes 14 high school students from New York and New Jersey (noted with an asterisk above) who are working side-by-side with the professional performers throughout the rehearsal and performance process. Nearly 200 teens from 25 high schools in all five boroughs of New York City will sing new choral arrangements specially created for this production by Thomas Cabaniss. The production will be directed by Amanda Dehnert, and Marin Alsop, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein’s, will serve as musical director and conductor.
Jerome Robbins’ original choreography (reset by Julio Monge), will be joined by new choreography in select parts of the show created by Sean Cheesman ("So You Think You Can Dance") in what is billed as an "exciting blend of classic and contemporary." The production team will also include musical supervisor Leslie Stifelman, scenic designer Eugene Lee, costume designer Tracy Christensen, lighting designer Edward Pierce, sound designer Nevin Steinberg, technical director David Benken and casting by Stewart/Whitley. Based on a concept by Jerome Robbins, who directed and choreographed the original production, West Side Story features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Tickets, priced $25-$65, are now available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or by phoning (212) 247-7800, or by visiting carnegiehall.org. A limited number of $10 student tickets are also available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. -