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Oscar-Winner George Chakiris to Appear at The Old Globe's WEST SIDE STORY Screening Next Week

George Chakiris, who won an Oscar for his breakout role of 'Bernardo' in Jerome Robbins's WEST SIDE STORY, will be our Guest of Honor at the Free Summer Shakespeare screening of the film on Monday, August 24.

Chakiris is in rehearsals for the World Premiere dance-theatre musical IN YOUR ARMS, which begins performances September 16. He will do a brief Q&A with Beth Accomando, author of the KPBS blog Cinema Junkie, at the top of the screening.

Reservations are no longer available, but audiences are encouraged to come on a standby basis and will be seated just prior to curtain time, based on seating availability.

The Old Globe continues its 2015 Summer Season featuring Shakespeare on stage and in film, in celebration of the Globe's 80th Anniversary and Balboa Park's Centennial. All of San Diego is invited to join us for a series of free Monday night films relating to Shakespeare through the eras. Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Beth Accomando, author of the KPBS blog Cinema Junkie, alternated introducing the films. The series will conclude on August 24 at 8:00 p.m. with Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins's groundbreaking 1961 New York City riff on the Bard's Romeo and Juliet, WEST SIDE STORY, in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre.

A riff on the Bard's Romeo and Juliet, WEST SIDE STORY, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins in 1961, explodes off the screen in one of the greatest movie musicals ever made. In 1950s New York City, two rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, struggle for dominance on the streets of their West End neighborhood. When two young teens meet at a dance and cross the battle lines, their love blossoms and offers them a way out of the tumultuous world around them. But as the hatred between the gangs escalates, this star-crossed romance threatens to destroy them all. Featuring Leonard Bernstein's iconic score and Jerome Robbins's exuberant choreography, West Side Story won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The series featured HENRY V, directed by Laurence Olivier in 1944, Orson Welles's 1965 classic Chimes at Midnight, and Joss Whedon's 2012 MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Admission is free, in celebration of the Globe's 80th Anniversary and Balboa Park's Centennial. Reservations are recommended and can be made only by calling (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623). Seating is by general admission. Reservations are no longer available, but audiences are encouraged to come on a standby basis and will be seated just prior to curtain time, based on seating availability. For more information, visit

After winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his performance as Bernardo in the classic film WEST SIDE STORY, George Chakiris has enjoyed an international career in film, television and theater. He has starred in films with Catherine Deneuve, Claudia Cardinale, Charlton Heston, Dirk Bogarde, Lana Turner, Cliff Robertson and Yul Brynner. George starred in the English Company of David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly, and recently completed Le Lido, a French miniseries. His extensive theater credits include Company with Elaine Stritch, The Com Is Green, and Elizabeth The Queen with Kim Hunter. In London's West End, George won rave reviews in The Passion Of Dracula, and in the BBC/PBS miniseries Notorious Woman with Rosemary Harris. His television credits include "Murder She Wrote", and a recurring role on "Dallas." He recently was honored "Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by the French Minister of Culture.

Chakiris has established an international career in film, television and theater His acting singing and dancing credits include nearly two dozen films, several acclaimed mini-series in Europe and Japan, BBC performances and concert tours in Las Vegas and around the globe. His dynamic performance as Bernardo in the film classic West Side Story earned George an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award. The film not only thrust him into the limelight, it subsequently enabled him to pursue an acting career in films both here and abroad.

The son of immigrant Greek parents, George was born in Norwood, Ohio, and raised in both Arizona and California. A singing and dancing natural, he was a member of the choir at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Long Beach, California. The group was noted for having performed in dozens of films, and George appeared with them in a concert sequence in MGM's Song of Love, starring Katherine Hepburn. This was George's first experience at a major movie studio, and on a film set. At age fourteen it made it made a strong and lasting impression!
In the years prior to the film of West Side Story, George appeared in films with Cyd Charisse, Mitzi Gaynor, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, and Rosemary Clooney. He was in the film classics There's No Business Like Show Business, Brigadoon, White Christmas, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe. Wanting to work on the New York stage, George relocated to Manhattan where two friends offered him couch space until he found work. On a tip from one of them, he landed an audition for the London cast of the smash Broadway musical West Side Story, and was chosen to play the role of Riff, the leader of the Jets. Jerome Robbins, who conceived West Side Story, co-directed and choreographed the film version as well, and cast George as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks, and earning him an Academy Award.

In Italy he starred with Claudia Cardinale in the politically intriguing Bebo's Girl, and later in the romantic The Theft Of The Mona Lisa. His European popularity was reaffirmed when he starred in the French film The Young Girls of Rochefort, with Catherine Deneuve and Gene Kelly. George has also starred in films with Yul Brynner, Richard Widmark, Charlton Heston, Cliff Robertson, Dirk Bogarde, and Lana Turner. Some of his theater credits include The Com Is Green with Eileen Herlie, Elizabeth The Queen with Kim Hunter, Stephen Sondheim's Company with Elaine Stritch, I Do, I Do, Camelot, The Fantasticks, and George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan In Hell.

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country's leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego's flagship arts institution for 80 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 14 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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