Natascia Diaz to Star in Theatre of the Stars' West Side Story

News   Natascia Diaz to Star in Theatre of the Stars' West Side Story This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic debut of West Side Story. The American classic, an audience favorite, is popping up in productions all across the country.
Natascia Diaz
Natascia Diaz

Atlanta's Theater of the Stars will present West Side Story Aug. 21-26. Before heading to Atlanta, the production will make a stop at Kansas City's Starlight Theatre Aug. 6-12; following Atlanta, it will play the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Aug. 28–Sept. 2.

The cast will include Sarah Darling as Maria, Nathan Scherich as Tony, Michael Balderrama as Bernardo, Natascia Diaz as Anita, Leo Ash Evens as Riff, Christopher Sergeeff as Chino as well as Jack Aaron as Doc, Joey Calveri as Action, Stephanie Fittro as Anybody's, Dale Radunz as Lt. Schrank, DJ Chase as A-Rab, Kurt Kelly as Snow Boy, Logan Keslar as Big Deal, Josh Montgomery as Baby John, Jay Scovill as Officer Krupke, Vanessa Van Vrancken as Rosalia and Donald Warfield as Gladhand.

Alan Johnson will direct and choreograph the production. He is known for choreographing the original Mel Brooks films "The Producers," "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," "High Anxiety," "History Of The World Part I" and "Dracula, Dead And Loving It." In addition to staging Robbins' original West Side Story choreography world-wide, Johnson won the American Choreography Award for The Gap West Side Story commercials.

The creative team includes Joshua Bergasse as associate director, Janice Aubrey as music director, Ken Billington as lighting designer and Peter Fitzgerald and Erich Bechtel as sound designers.

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 recreated worldwide.

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

Originally produced by theatrical impresario Harold Prince, West Side Story, for all its artistic ambition and achievement, would win only two Tony Awards for its debut, Best Choreography for Jerome Robbins and Best Scenic Design for Oliver Smith. That year's popular and quaint nostalgic hit, The Music Man, would sweep most of the categories.

The Theater of the Stars production of West Side Story will play Atlanta's Fox Theatre, located at 660 Peachtree Street. Tickets are available by calling (404) 817-8700 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com

For more information visit www.theaterofthestars.com.