West Side Story the Musical

The Original Broadway Classic

West Side Story the Musical

Theatre Address

Todd Jacobsson Sophie Salvesani Chloé Zuel Noah Mullins Keanu Gonzalez

West Side Story coming to Adelaide Festival Centre

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, WEST SIDE STORY will play a limited season at Adelaide Festival Centre this year. 

Opera Australia and GWB Entertainment today announced that the acclaimed BB Group production of WEST SIDE STORY will play at Festival Theatre from November 28. 

The timeless theatrical classic will feature some of Australia’s most exciting rising stars including Todd Jacobsson (Book Of Mormon) as Tony, Sophie Salvesani as Maria, Chloe Zuel (Beautiful) as Anita, Noah Mullins as Riff, and Lyndon Watts (Aladdin) as Bernardo. 

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 STORY opened 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. 

Director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins, said he was blown away by the Australian talent in the production. 

“I am so pleased to have found these amazingly talented young artists to play these career-defining roles. Each one possesses such extraordinary naturalism in their acting, that it was captivating to watch them embody these characters. I cannot wait to bring their thrilling performances to Adelaide.” said McKneely. 

McKneely’s vibrant staging of WEST SIDE STORY has received world-wide acclaim since its premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells. 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. 

Adelaide’s own Torben Brookman, director of GWB Entertainment said, “Musicals like West Side Story only come along once in a lifetime. It is a privilege to be working with BB Group and Opera Australia to bring this production to Adelaide. The cast that has been assembled are the most exciting young performers from across the country.” 

BB Group CEO and Producer Ralf Kokemuller said “We are thrilled to be bringing this production for an eagerly awaited return to Australia. The dramatic story, spectacular dancing and unforgettable songs have captivated theatregoers for decades and audiences in Adelaide are going to love it!” 

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini reiterated what a wonderful opportunity this will be for Adelaide audiences. 

“West Side Story is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever written, which is evidenced by its continuing success around the world. We are honoured to be providing the platform for showcasing the talents of these rising stars of Australia.” 

The all Australian cast of 33 also features Ritchie Singer as Doc, Paul Dawber as Lt. Schrank, Dean Vince as Officer Krupke and Paul Hanlon as Glad Hand. 

The Jets ensemble will include South Australians Joshua Taylor and Sarah Dimas with Nicholas CollinsChristian AmbesiNathan PaveyBlake TukeSebastien GolenkoMolly BugejaJoseph DonovanNatasha O’HehirAngelica Di Clemente and Taylah Small. The Sharks ensemble will feature Anthony GarciaKeanu GonzalezDaniel AssettaMatt AntonucciJason Yang-WestlandBrady KitchinghamDaniel WijngaardenZoe IoannouOlivia CarniatoNikki CrokerAmba Fewster and Ariana Mazzeo. 

WEST SIDE STORY will play a strictly limited season at Adelaide Festival Centre in November following seasons in Melbourne (6-28 April), Sydney (16 August – 6 October) and Canberra (10-27 October). 

This production of West Side Story will also play in Wellington from 6 June and embark on a tour of Germany from 25 June 2019. 

“A thrilling, hurtling triumph” The Observer (UK) 

★★★★★“No.1 Greatest musical of all time” The Times (UK)

The No.1 greatest musical of all time comes to Canberra!

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”. 

THE STORY 

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.

SHOW HISTORY 

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 

West Side Story Announces Full Australian Cast

Opera Australia, GWB Entertainment and BB Group today announced the full cast for their upcoming Australian production of what The Times (UK) hailed as the “No.1 Greatest musical of all time” WEST SIDE STORY.

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.

The production will feature Ritchie Singer as Doc, Paul Dawber as Lt. Schrank, Dean Vince as Officer Krupke and Paul Hanlon as Glad Hand.

As “The Jets” the ensemble will include 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 Sarah Dimas.

Completing the cast as “The Sharks” will be 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.

They join the previously announced Todd Jacobsson as Tony, Sophie Salvesani as Maria, Chloe Zuel as Anita, Noah Mullins as Riff, and Lyndon Watts as Bernardo.

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.

The Producers said, “We are so excited by the cast that has been assembled for this production of West Side Story. From an Australia wide search, this all-Australian company is made up of the most exciting young talent in the country. We were blown away in the audition room and can’t wait for audiences to experience this incredible production which such a talented and dynamic cast.”

When the original Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY opened 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.

McKneely’s vibrant staging of WEST SIDE STORY has received world-wide acclaim since its premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells. 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.

WEST SIDE STORY will play a strictly limited season at the Arts Centre Melbourne in April 2019, and Sydney Opera House from August 2019.

West Side Story Cast Announced!

Opera Australia, GWB Entertainment and BB Group today announced the principal cast for the upcoming Australian production of what The Times (UK) hails as the “No.1 Greatest musical of all time”, WEST SIDE STORY.

The timeless theatrical classic will feature some of Australia’s most exciting rising stars including Todd Jacobsson (Book Of Mormon) as Tony, Sophie Salvesani as Maria, Chloe Zuel (Beautiful) as Anita, Noah Mullins as Riff, and Lyndon Watts (Aladdin) as Bernardo.

Todd Jacobsson said, I can’t believe I get to play one of the most iconic roles in musical theatre! It really is a dream come true to be a part of such a beloved show all around the world. “

Sophie Salvesani said “West Side Story was the first show I ever performed in, so it still feels almost unimaginable, but immensely exciting to make my professional debut as Maria in a production that will play in two of Australia’s most prestigious venues.”

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 STORY opened 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.

Director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins, said he was blown away by the Australian talent during auditions.

“After an exhaustive search, I am so pleased to have found these amazingly talented young artists to play these career-defining roles.  Each one possess such extraordinary naturalism in their acting, that it was captivating to watch them embody these characters.  I cannot wait to bring their thrilling performances to Melbourne and Sydney stages,” said McKneely.

McKneely’s vibrant staging of WEST SIDE STORY has received world-wide acclaim since its premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells. 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.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini reiterated what a wonderful opportunity this will be for Australian audiences.

West Side Story is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever written, which is evidenced by its continuing success around the world. We are honoured to be providing the platform for showcasing the talents of these rising stars of Australia.”

While Torben Brookman, director of GWB Entertainment said, “Casting this production of West Side Story has been a thrilling process, the excitement and energy in the room was palpable and the cast that has been assembled are the most exciting young performers from across the country.”

Girls Auditions

“I’m seeing kids – real teenagers – come in that can sing the material, that can dance it on the level I require”. Take a sneak peek inside our auditions as we search for our Jet girls

Boys Auditions

The talent impressed at our auditions as we narrowed down the field of potential Jet boys

West Side Story to play Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House in 2019

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, WEST SIDE STORY will play limited seasons at Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House in 2019.

Opera Australia and GWB Entertainment today announced that the acclaimed BB Group production of WEST SIDE STORY will play in two of Australia’s most iconic theatres in 2019.

Audition submissions are now open to find Australia’s most exciting young talent to play dream roles in this timeless classic, which features Jerome Robbins’ ground-breaking choreography.

A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet; this tragic love story tells the tale of two young people whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle. The ‘Jets’, sons of previous immigrants to America, battle the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the ‘Sharks’, for domination of the streets.

BB Group CEO and Producer Ralf Kokemuller said “We are thrilled to be bringing this production for an eagerly awaited return to Australia. The dramatic story, spectacular dancing and unforgettable songs have captivated theatregoers for decades and audiences in Melbourne and Sydney are going to love it!”

When the original West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957, musical theatre changed forever as the most complex and challenging unity of music, dance, book and lyrics was realised in a way which has been rarely matched since. The genius of its four creators, a remarkable collaboration between Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, produced a masterpiece whose artistic quality remains unquestioned to this day.

Now former pupil of Jerome Robbins, Joey McKneely’s vibrant new stage production returns to Australia after wild acclaim world-wide. Since the first world tour in 2003, there have been more than 1500 performances of McKneely’s award-winning production of West Side Story. Joey McKneely is a two-time Tony Award nominated choreographer whose Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Café, The LifeTwelfth Night, The Wild Party and The Boy From Oz.

GWB Entertainment’s Torben Brookman said “Musicals like West Side Story only come along once in a lifetime. This piece transformed musical theatre around the world and is as relevant today as it was when first staged. It is a privilege to be working with BB Group and Opera Australia to bring this production back to the Australian stage.”

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini reiterated what a wonderful opportunity this will be for Australian audiences.

West Side Story is one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever written, which is evidenced by its continuing success around the world. And to have two sensational productions in Australia in 2019 continuing the Leonard Bernstein anniversary celebrations is terrific. It was an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up,” said Terracini.

“We are thrilled to bring fans of musical theatre this newly announced magnificent production by Joey McKneely and on top that, we will also have a brand new production of West Side Story created for our outdoor Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage by some of the best designers in the business. We really saw this as delivering the best of both worlds for everyone involved.”