By Rosy Cordero
The forthcoming revival of West Side Story has found its leads.
The full lineup for the beloved show, which will open at the Broadway Theater, was announced on Wednesday. The production, based on the Arthur Laurents book of the same name, tells the story of two teenagers caught in the middle of opposing gangs when they fall in love.
Under the direction of Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove, Shereen Pimentel and Isaac Powell will lead the cast in the roles of Maria and Tony, respectively. The rest of the cast includes a variety of diverse talent, including 23 actors making their debut, as follows: Yesenia Ayala as Anita, Amar Ramasar as Bernardo, Ben Cook as Riff, Ahmad Simmons as Diesel, Danny Wolohan as Officer Krupke, Jacob Guzman as Chino, Kevin Csolak as A-Rab, Matthew Johnson (debut) as Baby John, Dharon E. Jones (debut) as Action,Zuri Noelle Ford (debut) as Anybodys, Daniel Oreskes as Doc, Pippa Pearthree as Glad Hand, Thomas Jay Ryan as Lt. Schrank, and an ensemble including Alexa De Barr (debut), Daniel Ching (debut), Gabi Campo, Gino Cosculluela (debut), Marc Crousillat (debut), Stephanie Crousillat (debut), Roman Cruz (debut), Tyler Eisenreich (debut), Armando Eleazar (debut), Marlon Feliz (debut), Satori Folkes- Stone (debut), Constance François (debut), Carlos Gonzalez, Jennifer Gruener(debut), Jarred Manista (debut), Michaela Marfori (debut), Michelle Mercedes(debut), Michael Seltzer (debut), Corey John Snide, Sheldon True (debut), Ricky Ubeda, Madison Vomastek (debut), Tony Ward, Bridget Whitman (debut), andKevin Zambrano (debut).
Fans can expect all new choreography for the first time ever in the United States, by the internationally acclaimed Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
West Side Story will begin performances on December 10, 2019, ahead of an official opening night on February 6, 2020. And if the stage production leaves fans wanting more, Steven Spielberg’s big screen remake will hit theaters on December 18, 2020.
Meet the Cast of Broadway's Upcoming Revival Of WEST SIDE STORY!
by BWW News Desk Videos
Something great is coming! As BroadwayWorld previously reported, the classic Leonard Bernstein musical West Side Story is making its return to Broadway this winter directed by Ivo van Hove, and the revival has found its cast (including 23 Broadway debuts!) In honor of the occasion, we've getting to know the production's cast of Jets and Sharks! Check it all out below!
Isaac Powell as Tony
Isaac made his Broadway debut in 2017 as Daniel in the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on This Island. He has appeared regionally in Newsies and Mamma Mia at Pittsburgh CLO, as well as Legally Blonde at the Barn Dinner Theatre. He also originated the title role in Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at the Adirondack Theatre Festival. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2017 with a BFA in drama.
Shereen Pimentel as Maria
Shereen is currently a third year undergraduate at the Juilliard School, pursuing a Bachelors of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She made her Broadway debut at age nine as Young Nala in Disney's The Lion King. She has performed in Julliard's productions of Orpheus in the Underworld, Into the Woods, and Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor. She won first place at the 2018 New York Lyric Opera Competition, and her other accolades the 2015 Young Arts Merit Winner for Classical Music and first place in the 2016 Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition.
Yesenia Ayala as Anita
Yesenia is set to appear in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of West Side Story. She most recently appeared on Broadway in the ensemble of the 2018 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. She has also been seen on Broadway in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as Off-Broadway in The New Group's revival of Sweet Charity and in Trip of Love. She was also seen in the one-night-only concert of Bombshell and in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Ben Cook as Riff
Ben is set to appear in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of West Side Story. He most recently appeared on Broadway in the ensemble of Mean Girls. His other Broadway credits include Ragtime, Billy Elliot, and Tuck Everlasting. He is also known for playing Race in the first national tour of the hit musical Newsies. He has also been seen on screen in episodes 30 Rock, House of Cards, Veep, and Law & Order: SVU, as well as the HBO film Paterno.
Amar Ramasar as Bernardo
Amar made his Broadway debut in 2018 as Jigger in the Tony-nominated revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. He is also known for being a principal dancer at New York City Ballet. He started at NYCB in 2000 as an apprentice after studying at the School of American Ballet. He then joined the corps de ballet in 2001, became a soloist in 2006, and was subsequently promoted to principal dancer in 2009.
When the original production of West Side Story first premiered at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957, it utterly changed the face of the American musical theater. A career defining milestone for every single member of its towering creative team - Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Robbins - West Side Story reimagined the most enduring love story ever written as a contemporary musical complete with form-shattering stagecraft and a score for the ages. Now, more than 60 years later, the legacy of that original production, along with subsequent stagings around the globe and the iconic cinematic adaptation, has cemented West Side Story's place as one the most significant cultural achievements of the 20th century.