SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Star Grant Almirall Joins Cast of WEST SIDE STORY at the Joburg Theatre
Grant Almirall is set to join the stellar cast of WEST SIDE STORY, the Fugard Theatre's runaway hit musical, which has swept Joburg off its feet since opening at the Joburg Theatre last month. He will step into the role of Action, currently being performed by Daniel Buys, who will be leaving WEST SIDE STORY to begin rehearsals for PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT.
Recently seen as Don Lockwood in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, a role he performed to great acclaim in South Africa and Australia, Almirall is well known in the South African musical theatre industry for his outstanding portrayals in lead roles such as Frankie Valli in JERSEY BOYS. Almirall obtained his National Diploma in Musical Theatre from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2003. His professional debut was in the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS, produced by Pieter Toerien, touring Korea, Shanghai, Taipei, Qatar and Scandinavia. His other theatre credits include JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, SHOW BOAT, WE WILL ROCK YOU, BANGBROEK MOUNTAIN, ROMEO AND JULIET, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RENT, HAIRSPRAY, CHICAGO, AFRICAN FOOTPRINT and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. He played the role of Mungojerrie in the 2009 revival of CATS and starred in the 2010 Joburg Theatre production of THE BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH well as in the 2011 production of EVITA.
Almirall will perform alongside musical theatre icon Jonathan Roxmouth (Tony) and an all-star cast that includes Lynelle Kenned and Filipa van Eck (Maria), Bianca Le Grange (Anita), Christopher Jaftha (Bernardo), Stephen Jubber (Riff), Craig Urbani (Shrank), Zolani Shangase (Chino) and Brendan Murray (Krupke). The superb, forty-strong cast is backed by the Johannesburg Music Initiative Orchestra playing Bernstein's magnificent score, which includes iconic songs such as "Something's Coming", "Maria", "I Feel Pretty" and "Tonight".
Inspired by Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, the tale is set in the Upper West Side neighbourhood in New York City in the mid-1950s. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of different backgrounds. The members of the Sharks are taunted by the Jets. The young protagonist is Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang leader Riff. Tony falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, who is the leader of the Sharks. The sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and the focus on social conflict marked a turning point in American musical theatre.
Currently playing to nightly standing ovations, WEST SIDE STORY has received brilliant 5-star reviews across the board since its Johannesburg premiere. The epic, grand scale production first enjoyed a successful, sold-out run in Cape Town in 2015, and was the Fugard Theatre's first out-of-house production since the theatre opened officially in 2010.
Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, the creators and producers of other outstanding runaway Fugard Theatre hits like THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, KAT & THE KINGS, ORPHEUS IN AFRICA, CABARET and DISTRICT SIX KANALA, have created a phenomenal 100% South African production on an unprecedented grand scale that leaves audiences mesmerised night after night.
WEST SIDE STORY, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim's musical theatre masterpiece, is based on an original conception of Jerome Robbins and is arguably one of the world's greatest musicals. The creative team is headed by Matthew Wild as director, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder as musical director and conductor, and choreographer Louisa Talbot.
WEST SIDE STORY runs at the Joburg Theatre until 5 March 2017 and tickets are available through 021 461 4554, Computicket, 08619158000 or directly from the theatre. The producers recommend an age restriction of 12 years with parental guidance.