This weekend Opera Australia, GWB Entertainment and BB Group announced the principal cast for the upcoming Australian production of West Side Story.
The cast will include Todd Jacobsson (Book Of Mormon) as Tony, Sophie Salvesani as Maria, Chloe Zuel (Beautiful, Legally Blonde) 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.”
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.”
West Side Story will play a strictly limited season at the Arts Centre Melbourne in April 2019, and Sydney Opera House from August 2019.
For more information visit: www.westsidestory.com.au