Opera Australia, GWB Entertainment and BB Group today announced that CANBERRA would feature in the upcoming Australian tour of what The Times (UK) hailed as the “No.1 Greatest musical of all time” WEST SIDE STORY.
“A thrilling, hurtling triumph” The Observer (UK)
Supported by the ACT Government through its Major Event Fund, this exciting announcement is indicative of the appetite for large scale musical theatre in Canberra.
ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr MLA, said, “Securing WEST SIDE STORY is a fantastic result for our city. The people of Canberra and the surrounding region love a good musical, as demonstrated by the outstanding success of previous productions, so it is really pleasing to see the nation’s capital increasingly recognised as a major player in the live touring circuit.”
Alex Budd from Opera Australia said, “Today we are thrilled to announce Canberra as the next city to have blockbuster production opening on 10 October – a time of year that couldn’t be better for Canberra with FLORIADE in full bloom and one the world’s most iconic musicals set to play Canberra Theatre Centre”.
Richelle Brookman, Director of GWB said, “Bringing first class theatre to Australia, with a full Australian company is what Opera Australia and we at GWB are passionate about creating – and it is a thrill to be able to bring this to Canberra in all its glory”.
A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, WEST SIDE STORY is set in a New York City enveloped by bitter tension between two teenage gangs: the Jets, self-styled “Americans” [led by Riff], and the Sharks, a group of young Puerto Ricans [led by Bernardo] and remains as important and relevant today as it was when it was first created.
When the original Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORYopened in 1957, musical theatre changed forever. The genius of its four creators, a remarkable collaboration between composer Leonard Bernstein, author Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and choreographer Jerome Robbins, produced a timeless masterpiece whose thrilling unity of music, dance, book and lyrics has been rarely matched since.
CAST & CREATIVE CREDITS
Joey McKneely is a two-time Tony Award-nominated choreographer whose Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Café, The Life, Twelfth Night, The Wild Party and The Boy From Oz. McKneely’s vibrant staging of WEST SIDE STORY has received world-wide acclaim since its premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells.
The all Australian cast of 33 features a dynamic mix of established performers alongside some of Australia’s most exciting emerging talent in this celebrated production.
Todd Jacobsson as Tony | Sophie Salvesani as Maria | Chloe Zuelas Anita | Noah Mullins as Riff | Lyndon Watts as Bernardo | Ritchie Singer as Doc | Paul Dawber as Lt. Schrank | Dean Vince as Officer Krupke | Paul Hanlon as Glad Hand
The Jets: Joshua Taylor, Nicholas Collins, Christian Ambesi, Nathan Pavey, Blake Tuke, Sebastien Golenko, Molly Bugeja, Joseph Donovan with Natasha O’Hehir, Angelica Di Clemente, Taylah Small and
The Sharks: Anthony Garcia, Keanu Gonzalez, Daniel Assetta, Matt Antonucci, Jason Yang-Westland, Brady Kitchingham, Daniel Wijngaarden with Zoe Ioannou, Olivia Carniato, Nikki Croker, Amba Fewster and Ariana Mazzeo.
Director & Choreographer Joey McKneely | Musical Supervisor Donald Chan | Set Designer Paul Gallis | Costume Designer Renate Schmitzer | Make-up Designer Hannelore Uhrmacher | Sound Designer Matt Grounds | Lighting Designer Peter Halbsgut