WEST SIDE STORY Cast Announced! Cavenaugh, Olivo, Green, Akram and More
The producers of WEST SIDE STORY have confirmed full casting for the new Broadway production. The cast of 37 will star Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair, Grey Gardens) as "Tony," Karen Olivo (In the Heights) as "Anita," Cody Green (Movin' Out) as "Riff" and George Akram (The Farrelly's Stuck on You) as "Bernardo." The role of "Maria" will be played by Broadway newcomer Josefina Scaglione. The 21 year old actress comes directly, by special arrangement with Actors' Equity Association, from Buenos Aires after an exhaustive international search for the role. She created the role of Amber Von Tussle in the Argentinean production of Hairspray and the title role in Cinderella. Miss Scaglione is a classically trained opera singer who has received critical acclaim appearing as a soloist in the nation's most prestigious concert halls.
WEST SIDE STORY will also feature Steve Bassett as "Lt. Schrank," Kyle Brenn as "Boy Soprano," Joshua Buscher as "Diesel," Mike Cannon as "Snowboy," Kyle Coffman as "A-Rab," Joey Haro as "Chino," Eric Hatch as "Big Deal," Curtis Holbrook as "Action," Michael Mastro as "Glad Hand" Danielle Polanco as "Consuela," Jennifer Sanchez as "Rosalia," Lee Sellars as "Krupke," Tro Shaw as "Anybodys," Ryan Steele as "Baby John," Greg Vinkler as "Doc" along with Madeline Cintron, Lindsay Dunn, Matthew Hydzik, Marina Lazzaretto, Chase Madigan, Kaitlin Mesh, Pamela Otterson, Sam Rogers and Amy Ryerson as "The Jets" and Isaac Calpito, Haley Carlucci, Peter John Chursin, Yurel Echezaretta, Manuel Herrera, Yanira Marin, Mileyka Mateo, Kat Nejat, Christian Elan Ortez, Michael Rosen, Manuel Santos, Michaeljon Slinger and Tanairi Sade Vazquez as "The Sharks."
Directed by multiple Tony Award winner and author of the musical Arthur Laurents, WEST SIDE STORY will feature scenic designs by James Youmans (Gypsy), costumes by Tony Award nominee David C. Woolard (The Farnsworth Invention, The Who's Tommy), lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Gypsy, Jersey Boys), hair by Mark Adam Rampmeyer (The Farnsworth Invention) and sound design by Tony Award nominee Dan Moses Schreier (Gypsy, A Catered Affair). The original Jerome Robbins choreography will be reproduced by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).
WEST SIDE STORY is written by three theatrical luminaries: two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents (book) and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) in his Broadway debut.
WEST SIDE STORY is produced by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, Jeffrey Seller with Terry Allen Kramer, Sander Jacobs, Freddy DeMann, Roy Furman, Robyn Goodman / Walter Grossman, Hal Luftig, Roy Miller and Broadway Across America.
Tickets for the Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway) are currently on sale at Tickemaster.com or by calling 212-307-4100. Tickets for the pre-Broadway engagement at Washington D.C.'s National Theatre are currently on sale through Telecharge.com (212- 239-6200). Broadway preview performances will be Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. Beginning the week of March 23, performances will be Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday - Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. D.C. Ticket prices are $121.50 - 46.50.
Arthur Laurents (Book, Director) first play, Home of the Brave, opened on Broadway in 1945 followed by The Time of the Cuckoo and A Clearing in the Woods. He also has written the books for several musicals, including West Side Story, Gypsy, Anyone Can Whistle and Do I Hear a Waltz?, which was based on his play The Time of the Cuckoo. Laurents has directed several Broadway productions as well, including the musicals I Can Get It for You Wholesale La Cage Aux Folles, for which he won a Tony Award, and three productions of Gypsy in 1974, 1989 and the current production starring Patti LuPone which received seven 2008 Tony Award nominations. Laurents has also written two novels, "The Way We Were," and "The Turning Point," both of which became successful films for which Laurents wrote the screenplays. He also wrote the screenplays for The Snake Pit, Anastasia and the Alfred Hitchcock film Rope.
Leonard Bernstein (Music) was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Before graduating Harvard University in 1939, he made his unofficial conducting debut with his own incidental music to "The Birds," and directed and performed in Marc Blitzstein's "The Cradle Will Rock." In 1940, he studied at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood, with the orchestra's conductor, Serge Koussevitzky. Bernstein later became Koussevitzky's conducting assistant. Bernstein was appointed to his first permanent conducting post in 1943, as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. In 1945 he was appointed Music Director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1947. Bernstein became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. More than half of Bernstein's 400-plus recordings were made with the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein wrote a one-act opera, "Trouble in Tahiti," in 1952, and its sequel, the three-act opera, "A Quiet Place" in 1983. He collaborated with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: "Fancy Free" (1944) and "Facsimile" (1946) for the American Ballet theater; and "Dybbuk" (1975) for the New York City Ballet. He composed the score for the award-winning movie "On the Waterfront" (1954) and incidental music for two Broadway plays: "Peter Pan" (1950) and "The Lark" (1955). Bernstein contributed substantially to the Broadway musical stage. He collaborated with Betty Comden and Adolph Green on On the Town (1944) and Wonderful Town (1953). In collaboration with Richard Wilbur and Lillian Hellman and others he wrote Candide (1956). In 1957 he again collaborated with Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, on the landmark musical West Side Story, also made into the Academy Award-winning film. Festivals of Bernstein's music have been produced throughout the world. In 1985 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Mr. Bernstein with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. He won eleven Emmy Awards in his career. He received the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest honor for the arts; a Tony award (1969) for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater; and dozens of honorary degrees and awards from colleges and universities. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1980. In 1990, Bernsteinreceived the Praemium Imperiale, an international prize created in 1988 by the Japan Arts Association and awarded for lifetime achievement in the arts. Bernstein used the $100,000 prize to establish The Bernstein Education Through the Arts (BETA) Fund, Inc. before his death on October 14, 1990. Bernstein was the father of three children -- Jamie, Alexander, and Nina -- and the grandfather of four: Francisca, Evan, Anya and Anna.
Stephen Sondheim (Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Bounce as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together and Moving On are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. For films, he composed the score of Stavisky, background music for Reds and songs for Dick Tracy and the television production "Evening Primrose." He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder. Mr. Sondheim is on the council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981.
Jerome Robbins (Choreography) is world renowned for his work as a choreographer of ballets as well as his work as a director and choreographer in theater, movies and television. His Broadway shows include On the Town, Billion Dollar Baby, High Button Shoes, West Side Story, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan, Miss Liberty, Call Me Madam, and Fiddler on the Roof. His last Broadway production in 1989, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, won six Tony Awards including best musical and best director. Among the more than 60 ballets he created are Fancy Free, Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, Dances At a Gathering, In the Night, In G Major, Other Dances, Glass Pieces and Ives, Songs, which are in the repertories of New York City Ballet and other major dance companies throughout the world. His last ballets include A Suite of Dances created for Mikhail Baryshnikov (1994), 2 & 3 Part Inventions (1994), West Side Story Suite (1995) and Brandenburg (1996). In addition to two Academy Awards for the film West Side Story, Mr. Robbins has received four Tony Awards, five Donaldson Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Screen Directors' Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Mr. Robbins was a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was awarded the French Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur. Mr. Robbins died in 1998.
Joey McKneely (Reproduction Choreographer) first was introduced to West Side Story by Mr. Robbins himself when he danced in Jerome Robbins' Broadway. He was then chosen 11 years later to direct and reproduce his choreography for West Side Story at La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy, his directorial debut. His productions of West Side Story have been produced throughout the world, including the Chatalet in Paris and will premiere at the Saddler Wells Theater in London summer '08. On Broadway, Joey's choreographic debut was Smokey Joe's Cafe, followed by The Life, Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, The Wild Party, and The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman. He has earned 2 Tony Award Nominations, 2 Outer Critics Circle Nominations, an NAACP Image Award, and a LA Ovation Award. He has also directed/choreographed US national tours of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie Get Your Gun, Crazy For You, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and the off-Broadway production of Jerry Herman's revue, Showtune. In addition, he has directed Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton's The Beautiful Game in Tokyo, Japan. Other theatre credits include Whistle Down The Wind, A Wonderful Life, Time Of Your Life, Juno, Making Tracks and the national tour of Jolson, The Musical. McKneely's feature film choreography can be seen in IQ and Ben Stiller's Zoolander, as well as a TV episode of "Hope and Faith." As a performer, McKneely was in the original casts of Starlight Express, Roza, She Loves Me, (Revival), and of course, the endlessly infamous Carrie.
Matt Cavenaugh (Tony). A native Arkansan, Matt created the role of Ralph in A Catered Affair on Broadway and at The Old Globe. Previous Broadway credits include Grey Gardens (also Off-Broadway) and Urban Cowboy. Selected regional credits include Palm Beach (La Jolla Playhouse), Carousel (Pittsburgh CLO), 2 Lives (George Street Playhouse), Anything Goes (Williamstown, TUTS), Dorian (Denver Center), Princesses (Goodspeed), john and jen (Kitchen) as well as numerous others. Film: New Brooklyn, Sexual Dependency. TV: "As the World Turns," "One Live to Live." Ithaca College graduate. On Wednesday, October 29, Matt will perform at the opening night if the NY Cabaret Convention at Rose Hall / Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Josefina Scaglione (Maria) hails directly from Argentina where she recently created the role of Amber Von Tussle in Argentinean premiere of Hairspray at the Astral Theater in Buenos Aires. A 21 year old trained opera singer, Josefina has previously appeared in Argentinean productions of Cinderella opposite Argentine television star Sebastián Francini, Annie and Fame. In addition, she has also performed as a soloist in many of the nation's most prestigious concert halls and in national television campaigns for Nestlé, Frey Chocolat and Panasonic. Josefina Scaglione is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Karen Olivo (Anita) created the role of Vanessa in the Tony Award winning production of In the Heights both on and off Broadway. Previous Broadway credits include: Rent and Brooklyn. Off-Broadway: Hair 40th Anniversary Concert and Miracle Brothers. Television credits include: "Law & Order," Law & Order: SVU" and "Conviction." Film credits include: Adrift in Manhattan, Sibling, Late in the Game and Two Lovers.
Cody Green (Riff). After 10 weeks of nationally televised competition, Cody Green took home the $100K grand prize and was named the winner of BRAVO TV's "Step It Up and Dance" series. Cody played "Eddie" in Movin' Out on Broadway and in London's West End; was featured in the current B'way revival of Grease (u/s Kenickie) and toured with Mamma Mia! He can be seen in two upcoming feature films slated for release later this year: Center Stage 2 as "Nick Hoffman" and as a featured dancer in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (starring Brad Pitt). He has previously appeared in Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe and alongside Rihanna on CBS's "Fashion Rocks.
George Akram (Bernardo) was born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised by professional dancers. Akram achieved notoriety at the age of 6 when he appeared on children's television show. He later went on to join the performance group Acción Visual, appearing at important national events and sports openings as well as in musicals and commercials for various clients. At the age of 17, he made the move to the United States and has since appeared with artists such as Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Celia Cruz, Alejandro Sanz and many more, performing at the Latin Grammys, Latin Billboards, Viña del Mar in Chile and Premios Juventud. Film credits include: Miami Vice and Stuck on You in which he danced with Meryl Streep and Greg Kinnear. His most recent stage credit includes the Spanish stage hit Visa Para Un Sueño.
Steve Bassett (Lt. Schrank) made his professional debut in the Broadway production of Deathtrap opposite John Cullum. He was seen in the Philadelphia Drama Guild and subsequent Broadway productions of Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, directed by Marshall Mason. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Babylon Gardens, As Is and Full Hookup (all at Circle Repertory Co.), As You Like It (Long Wharf) and Spring Awakening (NY Shakespeare Co.). On television, he spent six years playing the role of Seth Snyder on CBS' "As the World Turns." Other television credits include "The Twilight Zone," "The Fall Guy," "Partners in Crime," "Feds" and "An Old Fashioned Story" (for American Playhouse). His film credits include Ratboy, Endangered Species, Spring Break and The Jackal. Steve is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Kyle Brenn (Boy Soprano) is thrilled to be making his Broadway debut. Off-Broadway: Growing Up 70's, Green Eggs and Hamadeus (Sam). Voiceover: Nick Jr.'s "Go Diego Go" (Rescue Pack). Kyle is a composer and author of two musicals.
Joshua Buscher (Diesel) recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Musical Theatre. West Side Story marks his Broadway debut. Regional credits include: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Daniel) and Swing at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Additional credits include: Cabaret (Emcee), Rocky Horror Show (Rocky) and Cats (Mungojerrie).
Mike Cannon (Snowboy) Broadway: A Chorus Line (Al), All Shook Up. Off Broadway: bare (Zack). National Tours: Mamma Mia, Grease (Doody). Regional: Joseph... (Joseph), A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge).
Kyle Coffman (A-Rab) was born in Boise, Idaho, the son of two professional dancers. Kyle attended the Ozarks Performing Arts Alliance under a full scholarship. After graduating high school in 2003, he moved to New York, studying under a full scholarship at the American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet schools. He has danced with The Joffrey Ensemble, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Peridance Ensemble and New York Theatre Ballet. West Side Story marks his Broadway debut.
Joey Haro (Chino) is originally from Miami, FL and attended FSU as a BFA Music Theatre Major. He began his professional career as the swing/dance captain in Altar Boyz Chicago. He then relocated to New York and briefly joined the Off-Broadway company of Altar Boyz before making his Broadway debut in Hairspray.
Curtis Holbrook (Action) was most recently seen on Broadway as Sonny Malone in Xanadu. Other Broadway credits include Xanadu (original Thalia/Young Danny), All Shook Up (Dean Hyde), Boy From Oz, Taboo, Fosse and Footloose. Off- Broadway he has appeared in Saved at Playwrights Horizon (Roland) and Radiant Baby at The Public Theater. Film credits include: Hairspray (as council member Brad), Across the Universe. TV credits include: "Law and Order: SVU," "All My Children" and "As the World Turns."
Michael Mastro (Glad Hand). Broadway: Twelve Angry Men; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Mamma Mia!, Judgement at Nuremberg; Side Man; Barrymore; Love! Valour! Compassion! Off-Broadway: The Water Children; Escape from Happiness. Regional: The Pillowman, The Sunshine Boys, Inspecting Carol, Guys and Dolls, Taming of the Shrew, The Dinner Party, Buffalo Gal, Substance of Fire, Italian American Reconciliation, Two Rooms and Hate Mail. Film: Kissing Jessica Stein, The Night We Never Met, Jungle 2 Jungle, Borough of Kings. TV: "Alias," "Hack," "Deadline," "Cosby," lots of "Law and Order." Member: Naked Angels.
Danielle Polanco (Consuela) is a dancer and choreographer best known for her lead performance in Omarion's video "Touch" and in the 2008 movie Step Up 2 the Streets as Missy Serrano. Polanco has choreographed for Beyonce and Janet Jackson and has also appeared as a dancer in numerous music videos for top artists such as Beyonce, Amerie, Janet Jackson and Usher. Danielle is a member of the House of Ninja.
Jennifer Sanchez (Rosalia). Regional credits include María Elena in The Buddy Holly Story, Mayzie in Seussical and Lily St. Regis in Annie. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and has a degree in musical theatre from Oklahoma City University.
Lee Sellars (Krupke) was last seen on Broadway in Talk Radio. New York Theatre credits include: A Small Melodramatic Story at the Labyrinth Theater, The Alchemist at the Classic Stage Company. Regional credits include: The Pillowman, Pig Farm, The God of Hell, The Pavilion, Private Eyes and The Grey Zone. Television credits: "Chappelle's Show," "The Sopranos," "Law And Order (Recurring)," "Third Watch," "Chicago Hope" and "ER." Film credits include: The Savages and Groundhog Day.
Tro Shaw (Anybodys) is making her Broadway debut in West Side Story. Her recent professional credits include The Utah Shakespearean Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Tro hails from Berkeley, CA and this past Spring she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Acting.
Ryan Steele (Baby John) received his training at the Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center in Michigan. He is a youngARTS Silver Award recipient in Dance and has toured with the West Coast Dance Explosion as an assistant. Some of his stage experience includes: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Central Florida Ballet's The Nutcracker, The Youth America Grand Prix 2007 NYC Gala, and The XII International Ballet Festival of Miami.
Greg Vinkler (Doc). West Side Story marks Greg's Broadway debut. He has worked extensively in Chicago theatres including Chicago Shakespeare (32 productions), Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Northlight, Writer's, and Marriott Lincolnshire. He has won three Jeff awards (and 12 nominations), two Artisan Awards, and an After Dark Award. He has also performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon as Falstaff in the two parts of Henry IV, London's Barbican Theatre in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Gary Sinise, Shubert Theatre in The Moliere Comedies with Brian Bedford, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Vienna's English Theatre. Greg is Artistic Director of Peninsula Players Theatre in Door Ct., WI.