Full Cast Announced For The 5th Avenue Theatre's New Production Of WEST SIDE STORY

The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced the full cast for West Side Story, the sweeping musical version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in the turbulent streets of New York City, where a star-crossed love blossoms between rival gangs. William Branner (National Tour: Bat Out Of Hell, Off-Broadway: Kragtar: An American Monster Musical) joins the cast to star as Tony, replacing the previously announced CJ Eldred.

The multitalented 44-person cast also features Jim Gall (The 5th: 1776, Wonderful Town) as Lieutenant Schrank, Gabriel Corey (The 5th: A Chorus Line, Spamalot) as Action, Christopher Lopez (5th Avenue Theatre debut) as Chino, Nik Hagen (The 5th: Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia!) as A-Rab, Kyle Nicholas Anderson (National Tour: Something Rotten!) as Snowboy, Blair Jolly Elliot (a member of Spectrum Dance Theater, The 5th: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel) as Anybodys, Jordan Jackson (The 5th: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, Annie) as Diesel, Nathan Brockett (The 5th: Assassins, ArtsWest: Peter and the Starcatcher) as Glad Hand/Voice of Maria's Father, Brandon Weglin (The 5th: Rising Star Project The Pajama Game) as Baby John, and Trevor Hansen (Village Theatre: Newsies, Seattle Opera: Aida) as Big Deal.

Also newly announced is Jeremy Cline (Gee-tar), Lindsay Elvig (Pauline), Sapphire Goetz (Carmen), Diego Guevara (Moose), Laura Elizabeth Henning (Velma), Danny Kam (Offstage Adult Men, Understudy), Rico Lastrapes (Nibbles), Carlos Narvaez (Juano), Taylor Niemeyer (Trina), Kayden Oliver (Pepe), and Tia Petersen (Graziella).

West Side Story's cast also features members of Spectrum Dance Theater, which was founded by Donald Byrd in 1982 to bring dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Spectrum Dance Theatre has previously collaborated with The 5th on four productions: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, On the Town, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and West Side Story in 2007. Joining the cast from Spectrum is Mikhail Calliste (Anxious), Michele Dooley (Teresita), Marco Farroni (Luis), Paul Giarratano (Swing), Hutch Hagendorf (Mouth Piece), Marte Osiris Madera (Indio), Nia-Amina Minor (Marguerita), Emily Pihlaja (Clarice), Andrew Pontius (Tiger), Fausto Rivera (Toro), Olivia Schmid (Estella), Mary Sigward (Jeanie), and Jaclyn Wheatley (Minnie).

Previously announced casting includes Rebbekah Vega-Romero, who makes her 5th Avenue Theatre debut to star as Maria, Danielle Marie Gonzalez as Anita, Seattle local Sophie Franco as Rosalia, Karma Jenkins as Consuela, Iliana Garcia as Francisca, and Dan Lusardi as Riff, all also making their 5th Avenue Theatre debuts. Returning to The 5th is Alexander Gil Cruz, making his stage debut as Bernardo, and 5th Avenue Theatre favorites Seán G. Griffin as Doc and Richard Gray as Officer Krupke.

"There are very few shows that can consistently elicit a tearful response from the audience and then release that sadness into a moment of hope; West Side Story does that. It leaves us changed," said The 5th Avenue Theatre's Producing Artistic Director and director of West Side Story Bill Berry. "You May Go to see the incredible dancing and a beautiful story told beautifully, but when it ends, you are slightly changed as you walk out the door. It does it magically. And that's the subversive power of musical theater."

Berry, who helmed The 5th's most recent production of the musical in 2007, will direct this beloved tale once again. The iconic choreography by Jerome Robbins will be taught to the cast by returning choreographer Bob Richard (Mamma Mia!, The Pajama Game, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying).

Playing May 31 - June 23, 2019 (press opening Friday, June 7), tickets for West Side Story are on sale now at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206.625.1900, or in person at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.

The 5th Avenue Theatre is calling on the full breadth and depth of its artistic resources to stage this unforgettable production. This is musical theater as only The 5th can do it: with a sensational cast of the finest performers ever to grace its stage, a 25-piece orchestra, the highest levels of talent, and artistic dedication bar none. The dancing will bring you to the edge of your seat; the music will resonate deep in your soul; the story will lift you to the heights of passion.



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