Two enemy gangs in New York, the US-American Jets and the Sharks from Puerto Rico, are fighting for control over several city blocks on the Upper West Side. Just as in Romeo and Juliet, the “wrong people” fall in love: Tony, a former member of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks. Cecilia Bartoli and Norman Reinhardt star in the roles of the lovers.
Other cast members bring plenty of Broadway experience to the stage:
Anita will be played by Karen Olivo. A native New Yorker, the stage and TV actress is a Tony Award winner as Best Featured Actress in a Musical – for her portrayal of this very same role in a revival of West Side Story at the Palace Theater on Broadway in 2009. Her performance as Anita also earned her the Outer Critics Circle Award and nominations for the Drama Desk Award and the Astaire Award.
Bernardo will be played by George Akram, who got his first job in show business at the tender age of six. He studied in Miami, Los Angeles and New York and has performed at numerous large-scale events, such as the Latin Grammy Awards, the Latin Billboards and the Reggaeton Festival at Madison Square Garden. The versatile artist’s great breakthrough came when he shared the stage with Karen Olivo on Broadway in the revival of West Side Story.
The role of Riff, the leader of the Jets and Tony’s best friend, will be taken on by Cody Green, a Canadian dancer, actor and singer. In order to start touring with the cast of Mama Mia!, he dropped out of the Juilliard School. After that, he was engaged in Movin’ Out on Broadway and subsequently in London. He also won the competition BRAVO’s Step It Up and Dance. Together with Karen Olivo and George Akram, he played Riff in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story.
You can witness this extraordinary production not only at Whitsun: the musical will be repeated during the summer festival with the same cast.