Ewoldt, von Essen, Farrell and Mendieta to Rumble in West Side Story for Pittsburgh CLO

News   Ewoldt, von Essen, Farrell and Mendieta to Rumble in West Side Story for Pittsburgh CLO Max von Essen and Ali Ewoldt will star as West Side Story's doomed lovers beginning Aug. 5 for Pittsburgh CLO.
Max von Essen
Max von Essen Photo by Stephen Mosher

Both von Essen and Ewoldt, who appear as Tony and Maria, respectively, were last seen on Broadway in the revival of Les Misèrables. Completing West Side Story's dynamic foursome will be Manoly Farrell as Anita and Wilson Mendieta (Man of La Mancha) as Bernardo.

The company also features Spencer Howard (Riff), Jeff Davis (Diesel), Darren Biggart (A-Rab), Andrew Cao (Chino), Allison Nock (Anybodys), Cary Tedder (Action), Mikey Winslow (Baby John), Amos Wolff (Big Deal), Gene A. Saraceni (Doc), Tim Brady (Schrank), Gary Kline (Gladhand), Paul Palmer (Officer Krupke) and Ward Billeisen (Snowboy).

The West Side Story ensemble comprises Zachary Berger, Callan Bergmann, Ashley Blanche, Kyle Brown, Kaitlyn Davidson, Yurel Echezarreta, Steffi Garrard, Tracy Groth, Freddie Kimmel, Scott Larsen, Stephanie Maloney, Gabrielle McClinton, Shina Ann Morris, Sydney Morton, Mary Michael Patterson, Justin Peebles, Robert James Priore, Mahri Relin, Lisa Rumbauskas, Ahmad Simmons and Kathryn Lin Terza.

Van Kaplan will direct the CLO staging that runs through Aug. 17 at the Benedum Center. The West Side creative team includes Mark Esposito (re-creating Jerome Robbins' original choreography), Tom Helm (musical direction), John McLain and Scott Nelson (lighting design).

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set on the West Side of Manhattan, West Side Story tells the tale of two doomed young lovers, Tony and Maria, who are inextricably linked to rival gangs, The Sharks (Puerto Rican immigrants) and The Jets (native New Yorkers). Arthur Laurents penned the book, with a score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the original production's electrifying dance numbers, which are re-created worldwide.

The landmark musical will return to Broadway in a revitalized production helmed by original librettist Arthur Laurents in February 2009.

The Bernstein-Sondheim score features the American classics "Somewhere," "Tonight," "One Hand, One Heart," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty" and "America."

For tickets to West Side Story, visit www.pittsburghCLO.org or call (412) 456-6666.