Original WEST SIDE STORY Stars Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence and More Will Reunite for Dancers Over 40 Event 'COOL!'
Sixty years ago this month, West Side Story opened on Broadway to become one of the best-loved musicals of all time. To celebrate this historic event, Dancers Over 40 will assemble a spectacular "once-in-a-lifetime" panel of original cast members nearly to the day of their 1957 debut.
Cool! The 60th Anniversary and Reunion Event will be hosted by Matt Rodin and also feature live performances by Drama Desk winner Jay Armstrong Johnson (On the Town, Sweeney Todd, PBS) as well as surprise guests, plus video and plenty of photos on display. Special music arrangements are by Ross Baum with music direction by Curtis Reynolds.
Eleven of the original actor-singer-dancers of West Side Story will share their stories and what it was like to work with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Peter Gennaro, particularly in the days leading up to opening night at the Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 1957.
Taking the stage will be Martin Charnin (Big Deal), who will moderate the panel, Grover Dale (Snowboy), Marilyn D'Honau (Clarice), Carol Lawrence (Maria), Ronnie Lee (Nibbles), George Marcy (Pepe/Bernardo), Liane Plane (Marguerita), Tony Mordente (A-Rab), Chita Rivera (Anita), Jaime Sanchez (Chino) and David Winters (Baby John).
The cast's insights, their recollections, thoughts and experiences will be videotaped and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Producing partners with DO40 are Broadway and film producer, former dancer and Tony Award winner Dennis Grimaldi (On the Town, A Gentleman's Guide, Angels in America, Other People's Money) and Award-winning producer and actor Joey Dedio (Tio Papi, Musical Chairs, Downtown). Grimaldi and Dedio are currently working on a documentary on the making of West Side story with the 21 remaining original cast members and creators. Emmy and Tony Award-winner and original cast member Martin Charnin will direct.
Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera have been long-time Advisory Board members of Dancers Over 40 and have participated in past DO40 panels on Jack Cole and Peter Gennaro. The two have also performed at DO40 CARES song and dance concerts at The Joan Weill Center for Dance/Ailey Citigroup Theater in 2012 and 2013.
Dancers Over 40 was created in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization to provide a community of support in response to the needs of mature dancers, choreographers and related artists. Their goals include seeking educational opportunities, presenting seminar and panel discussions and social events geared to topics relevant to mature dancers, whose present-day concerns are focused on their ability to continue to live and work in a creative environment, and continue that legacy to the younger generation about to begin their journey.
The event will take place on Wednesday, September 27th at 8pm at St. Luke's Theater, 308 West 46th Street, NYC. Tickets are on sale now, offered at $25 for members of Dancers Over 40 with discount code and $45 for non-members ($65 for premium seats). For non-member reservations, please call Telecharge, at 212-239-6200 or log on to www.telecharge.com. DO40 members can call 212-947-8844 or go to www.telechargeoffers.com with their discount code.
Tickets may also be purchased at the St. Luke's Box Office from 2 - 6pm daily, at 308 West 46th Street. For more information on DO40 and this event, please call the Hotline at 212-330-7016. For more information on Dancers Over 40, visit www.dancersover40.org, www.facebook.com/dancersover40, and www.youtube.com/dancersover40.