Joining von Essen onstage are Stephanie Iannarino (Maria), Vivian Nixon (Anita), Leo Ash Evens (Riff), Wilson Mendieta (Bernardo), Christopher Sergeeff (Chino), Kurt Domoney (Action), DJ Chase (A-Rab), Josh Montgomery (Baby John), Logan Keslar (Big Deal), Clark Johnsen (Snowboy), Stephanie Fritto (Anybodys), Steve Luker (Lt. Schrank), Bob Bouchard (Officer Krupke), Rutherfiord Cravens (Doc) and David R. Wald (Gladhand).
The ensemble comprises Jay Be, Shane Braddock, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, Amy Brewer, Joseph Corella, Carolyn Doherty, Billy Fagen, David Guggino, Leon Le, Kat Nejat, Tom Pacio, Jose-Manuel Santos, Felicity Stiverson, Kristopher Thompson-Bolden, Becca Tobin, Vanessa Van Vrancken and Shontè Walker.
Alan Johnson directs and choreographs the TUTS production, which runs through Nov. 5. The creative team also includes Janice Aubrey (musical director), Richard Winkler (lighting designer), Christopher "Kit" Bond (sound designer) and John Farrell (scenic consultant).
West Side Story debuted on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre in Sept. 1957. It played 732 performances before closing June 27. 1959. Conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the original cast included Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria and Chita Rivera as Anita. The classic Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim score boasts such tunes as "Tonight," "America," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere."
Tickets, priced $27-$87, are available by calling (713) 558-8887. Visit www.tuts.com for more information.