West Side Story, one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time, will play a limited three-week season at the Festival Theatre from 30 December 2010.
The hot new Australian production of West Side Story, directed and choreographed by Broadway’s Joey McKneely has just opened to acclaim in Sydney after sell-out seasons in London, Tokyo, Paris and Beijing.
The production will tour to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth ahead of Adelaide with the same exciting cast. Tickets for West Side Story go sale to the public from through all Bass outlets and Bass online from Monday 19 July.
With groundbreaking choreography by the legendary Jerome Robbins, book by Arthur Laurents, an unforgettable score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story created a new face for musical theatre.
Packed with unforgettable songs including Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty, West Side Story remains a theatrical landmark. The film version went on to win an incredible ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and further cemented the reputation of this undoubted masterpiece. These songs are as popular now as when first written having been recorded by countless famous artists.
Joey McKneely was personally chosen by Jerome Robbins to do the choreography for West Side Story, which he has now done throughout the world. On Broadway Joey has substantial directing and choreography credits, having won a number of Awards and been nominated for two Tony Awards.
Joey McKneely said of his Australian cast, ‘I believe the Australian cast is the best cast I have assembled for West Side Story. Their talent has impressed me.’
The lead male role of Jets leader turned good-guy Tony, is played by Josh Piterman whose voice has become well known across the world thanks to his time with the smash hit singing group The Ten Tenors. A graduate of the Ballarat College of the Arts, Josh has toured with the Melbourne Opera Company, lived and performed in Japan, and has just finished currently sharing a stage with Geoffrey Rush in The Drowsy Chaperone at Melbourne Theatre Company.
The innocent romantic dreamer Maria is brought to life by Sydney Conservatorium Scholarship winner Julie Goodwin, who has recently completed 200 performances in the lead role of Christine in Australian tour of Phantom of the Opera. Julie is a graduate of both the Sydney Conservatorium High School, and the prestigious Talent Development Project. Having toured in Asia and across Australia Julie is tremendously excited to have won the coveted role of Maria.
The bad boys of West Side Story are the swarthy, hot-tempered Bernardo and the all-American troublemaker Riff. Bernardo is performed by the highly experienced NIDA graduate Nigel Turner-Carroll. With roles in hit musicals such as Hot Shoe Shuffle and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the highly dramatic Gallipoli for the Sydney Theatre Company, Nigel brings a defining edge to the character of Bernardo.
The role of Riff is played by Rohan Browne, whose credits stretch from performing in Happy Feet for George Miller, to The Drowsy Chaperone for Melbourne Theatre Company. With a background including Cats, Chicago and Jesus Christ Superstar Rohan comes well prepared for this demanding role.
The seamstress with the biting humour and quick wit is Anita, played by Green Room Award winner Alinta Chidzey. Alinta has just returned from an overseas tour with Dirty Dancing, and a tour with the premiere cast of Dusty: the original Pop Diva.
Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in West Side Story two young people meet, fall in love and pledge their eternal loyalty to one another. Their different backgrounds ensure they are denied a happy future because of the intolerance and hatred of two antagonistic cultures. Fate leads the star-crossed lovers into a tragedy of heartbreaking proportions. West Side Story is as relevant today as when it first burst onto the international theatre scene – and in every way a ground breaking musical.
West Side Story is presented by Michael Brenner for BB Promotion, GmbH, Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group, The Bartner Group, Norman Tulchin, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises.
The Adelaide season is presented in association with the Adelaide Festival Centre.