Tonight: West Side Story Starring Natascia Diaz Opens at Atlanta's Fox Theatre

News   Tonight: West Side Story Starring Natascia Diaz Opens at Atlanta's Fox Theatre
Atlanta's Theater of the Stars presents West Side Story, in honor of the musical's 50th anniversary, beginning Aug 21.

The cast includes 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 directs and choreographs the production for Theater of the Stars. 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.

Atlanta's Theater of the Stars presents West Side Story through Aug. 26. The production previously played Kansas City's Starlight Theatre and will continue to the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Aug. 28–Sept. 2.

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

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