Initial casting has been announced for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s upcoming production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story.
Francesca Zambello's acclaimed production, featuring almost 100 artists, will return to Chicago’s biggest stage, the Lyric Opera House, June 2-25.
Frozen's Ryan McCartan and The Phantom of the Opera's Kanisha Marie Feliciano will play star-crossed young lovers Tony and Maria, joined by Amanda Castro, who returns to the role of Anita, Brett Thiele as Riff, and Yurel Echezarreta (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story film) as Bernardo.
Music director James Lowe will conduct the limited engagement, featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
The production will also have set design by Peter J. Davison, costume design by Jessica Jahn, lighting design by Mark McCullough, and choreography by Jerome Robbins, recreated by Joshua Bergasse.
With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Bernstein, and lyrics by Sondheim, West Side Story opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre September 26, 1957. It played 732 performances before closing June 27, 1959. Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Robbins, the original cast included Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, and Chita Rivera as Anita. Robbins won the Tony Award for his choreography, and Oliver Smith took home the prize for Best Scenic Design. It was nominated as Best Musical but lost to The Music Man.
The memorable Bernstein-Sondheim score boasts such tunes as "Tonight," "America," "Maria," "I Feel Pretty," and "Somewhere."