Broadway Revival of West Side Story to Close in January; Olivo Will Not Return
By Andrew Gans
The Tony Award-nominated revival of West Side Story, which opened at the Palace Theatre March 19, 2009, will play its final performance Jan. 2, 2011, having played 27 preview and 748 regular performances.
The production was directed by its librettist, Tony winner Arthur Laurents.
Producers announced Sept. 30, 2009, the recoupment of the show's $14 million investment after running 30 weeks (247 performances).
Josefina Scaglione will play her final performance as Maria Sept. 19; Sarah Amengual will be Broadway's new Maria beginning Sept. 21.
Natalie Cortez will continue in the role of Anita for the remainder of the Broadway run (Karen Olivo, who won a Tony Award for her performance, will not return per doctor's orders).
Matt Shingledecker will play the role of Tony on Wednesday evenings and Sunday matinees beginning Oct. 13.
The cast currently stars Matthew Hydzik, Josefina Scaglione, Natalie Cortez, John Arthur Greene, George Akram and Jeremy Jordan leading a cast of 48.
A national touring production will launch in Detroit Sept. 30.
The production features scenic design by James Youmans, costumes by Tony Award nominee David C. Woolard, lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, hair by Mark Adam Rampmeyer and sound design by Tony Award nominee Dan Moses Schreier.
West Side Story has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Laurents. The staging retains the original choreography of late director Jerome Robbins, who conceived the project by using Romeo and Juliet as inspiration. The Robbins choreography has been restaged by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).
"West Side Story transports the achingly beautiful tale of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the turbulent streets of the Upper West Side in 1950's New York City," according to the producers. "Two star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria, find themselves caught between the rival street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the 'Jets' and the 'Sharks.' Their struggle to exist together in a world of violence, hate and prejudice is one of the most heart-breaking, relevant and innovative musical masterpieces of our time."
The Bernstein and Sondheim score features such classics of the American musical theatre as "Something's Coming," "Tonight," "America," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere."
Robbins won the Tony Award for his groundbreaking choreography, and Oliver Smith took home the prize for Best Scenic Design. It was nominated as Best Musical but lost to The Music Man.
West Side Story is produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, Jeffrey Seller with Terry Allen Kramer, Sander Jacobs, Roy Furman/Jill Furman Willis, Freddy DeMann, Robyn Goodman/Walt Grossman, Hal Luftig, Roy Miller, The Weinstein Company and Broadway Across America.
Tickets are available by visiting Ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 307-4100.
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