Dharon E. Jones will take over the role of Riff in West Side Story, currently in previews at the Broadway Theatre. He replaces Ben Cook, who departs the production after sustaining an injury during the January 5 performance.
Making his Broadway debut in the Ivo Van Hove-directed production, Jones previously performed the role of Action. A Brooklyn native, the actor is a graduate from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, with regional credits including Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, and 1776.
West Side Story, featuring brand-new choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, is set to open February 20. The musical currently stars understudy Jordan Dobson as Tony. He is subbing in for Isaac Cole Powell, who suffered an onstage injury during a December 20 performance, resulting in the opening date getting pushed back from February 6. Dobson will stay in the role until Powell is recovered and able to return to the show.
The principal cast also includes Shereen Pimentel as Maria, Yesenia Ayala as Anita, Amar Ramasar as Bernardo, Jacob Guzman as Chino, Ahmad Simmons as Diesel, Danny Wolohan as Officer Krupke, Daniel Oreskes as Doc, Thomas Jay Ryan as Lt. Schrank, Pippa Pearthree as Glad Hand, and Kevin Csolak as A-Rab.
Several changes to the production were made from Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim's original Broadway vision, including the removal of "I Feel Pretty" and the "Somewhere" ballet, but that hasn't kept away theatregoers, as the boards have shown big box office returns during previews.