West Side Story to Make Paris Bow for 50th Anniversary

News   West Side Story to Make Paris Bow for 50th Anniversary
In honor of its 50th anniversary West Side Story will launch a European tour beginning at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris.

The six-week Paris run will begin Nov. 20 prior to engagements in Vienna, Zurich, Leipzig and Baden-Baden. The production will arrive at Sadler's Wells in London for a limited in July 2008.

West Side Story will feature an alternating trio of leads, including David Ruffin and David Curry as Tony, Ann McComack and Davinia Rodriguez as Maria and Lana Gordon and Vivian Nixon as Anita. Nixon will follow in the footsteps of mom Debbie Allen, who earned her a 1980 Tony nomination for her work as Anita in the show's Broadway revival.

Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz) directs and re-creates Jerome Robbins' original staging with West Side Story specialist Donald Chan conducting. West Side Story librettist Arthur Laurents will be in attendance for the musical's Nov. 18 final dress rehearsal.

The creative team for West Side Story includes Paul Gallis (set design), Renate Schmitzer (costumes), Peter Halbsgut (lighting design) and Rick Clarke (sound 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 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 Paris run of West Side Story is presented by the Théâtre du Chatelet, Michael Brenner for BB Promotion, and Paul Szilard, in association with Sundance Productions.

For further information visit www.chatelet-theatre.com.

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