West Side Story Dances Into Pittsburgh CLO Aug. 5

News   West Side Story Dances Into Pittsburgh CLO Aug. 5 West Side Story, starring Broadway actors Max von Essen and Ali Ewoldt, begins performances at the Pittsburgh CLO Aug. 5.
Max von Essen
Max von Essen Photo by Stephen Mosher

Ewoldt and von Essen star as West Side's young lovers Maria and Tony, respectively, in a cast that also features Manoly Farrell as Anita and Wilson Mendieta (Man of La Mancha) as Bernardo. Van Kaplan directs the CLO staging that runs through Aug. 17 at the Benedum Center.

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.

The creative team includes Mark Esposito (re-creating Jerome Robbins' original choreography), Tom Helm (musical direction) and 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 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.