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Apr 17 2019

"West Side Story"Casting Pt 1: Meet the Sharks

by Nathaniel R

David Alvarez will be taking on George Chakiris's Oscar winning role of "Bernardo"in the remake of WEST SIDE STORY

We'll have to take the West Side Story casting,which is now complete with filming to begin this summer,in two parts.It's aLOTto process.Though we are skeptical of the project given thatWest Side Story(1961) is so perfect despite its imperfections (you know how art works),but the material itself is so brilliant that perhaps we'll get two classics for the price of one?

With the casting complete,meet the Sharks...
There's a lot of Broadway talent (especially fromHamilton,On Your Feet,Carousel),some people from the Miami ballet world,and even some who've doneWest Side Storybefore in other forms.Links go to their instagram pages if we could find them...


Rachel Zegler(Maria)
This will be her big screen debut.Zegler is from New Jersey and also played this role in her Performing Arts High School.

Ariana DeBose(Anita)
She's a former Tony nominee (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) and excellent dancer with six shows under her belt on Broadway,includingHamilton(original cast).She's done a couple of indie films before this.

All this work at the gym for Anita...

David Alvarez(Bernardo)
This Canadian actor is a former Tony winner having shared the triple-cast lead ofBilly Elliot: The Musicalwhen he was just 15.He turns 25 next month andWest Side Storywill be his big screen debut.

Josh Andrés Rivera(Chino)

He's been touring withHamiltonthese past couple of years,playing multiple roles.Film debut.


David Aviles Morales
Big screen debut though he's danced in a couple of tv movies.

Yesenia Ayala
Two ensemble roles on Broadway recently,including last season'sCarousel.Film debut.

María Alejandra Castillo
Film debut.

Annelise Cepero
Film debut

Andrei Chagas
Made his Broadway debut in the ensemble ofCarousellast season.Immigrated to the US 10 years ago and he's formerly with the Miami City Ballet.This will be his film debut.

Jeanette Delgado
Performer with the Miami City Ballet.

Kelvin Delgado
Film debut

Gaby Diaz
Winner ofSo You Think You Can Danceseason 12.Film debut.

Yurel Echezarreta
Six Broadway productions to date including the revival ofWest Side Storyin 2009 where he played Tio.He is also scheduled to be in the Broadway production ofMoulin Rouge!in a few months (though withthismovie filming this summer how is that possible?Does he have to drop out of Moulin Rouge!?).His film debut was as a dancer in the musical adaptation ofThe Last Five Years.

Adriel Flete
Made his Broadway debut in the Gloria Estefan musicalOn Your Feet!a couple of years ago and toured with the show as well.Film debut.

Carlos E.Gonzalez
Made his Broadway debut in the Gloria Estefan musicalOn Your Feet!a couple of years ago.Film debut.Here's a cute video of him getting the news that he got the part.

David GuzmanandJacob Guzman
Twin brothers.David has performed in Broadway'sHamiltonand Jacob inFiddler on the Roofand they both made their Broadway debuts inNewsies the Musical.They played Twins in thePeter Pan LiveTV event and they're both in theNewsiesproduction that was filmed for streaming butWest Side Storywill be their official feature debut.

Ana Isabelle(Rosalia)
Made her Broadway debut in the Gloria Estefan musicalOn Your Feet!a couple of years ago.She's appeared in a few movies since 2017.

Melody Martí
Film debut.

Ilda Mason

• Juliette Feliciano Ortiz

• Edriz E.Rosa Pérez

• Maria Alexis Rodriguez

Julius Anthony Rubio
Five Broadway productions to date,includingFrozenvery recently.You might have also seen him profiled onLogo's "Chorus Boys"a few years back.

• Carlos Sánchez Falú

Sebastian Serra
Film debut.

Gabriela Soto
Film debut

Ricky Ubeda
Three Broadway productions to date,all dance heavy (On the Town,Cats,Carousel).The original Mistoffelees in the revival ofCatsthree years ago and the winner ofSo You Think You Can Danceseason 11.Film debut.

Tanairi Vazquez
Five Broadway productions to date including the revival ofWest Side Storyin 2009 where she played Lupe.Film debut.

Jamila Velazquez
She's a singer/songwriter.You'll recognize her from her recurring role on Empire as "Laura Calleros".She's also done a couple of features prior toWSS.

Isabella Ward
Film debut.

Ricardo Zayas
Two Broadway productions to date:HamiltonandHead Over Heels.Film debut.


"Doc"(played by Ned Glass) from the 1961 film will be reimagined as "Valentina"(Rita Moreno)

Rita Moreno(Valentina)
The EGOT legend,who won her Oscar for her unforgettable performance as "Anita"in the 1961 blockbuster returns to the musical in a new role.Valentina will be replacing Doc (Ned Glass) in the narrative.We assume the roles and locales have shifted a bit for the remake since Valentina's store probably wouldn't be where the Jets regularly met within this adaptation given the racial strife of the story.

What do you think of the cast?The trained dancer heavy ensemble gives us hope.

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Reader Comments (22)

Who is doing the costumes?Should we kidnap him/her?

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue


Principal: "most important"
The principal actor,the principal ballerina,the principal of the school,
The Principals of West Side Story

Principle: rule,standard,or belief
The principle of the lever and the pulley,do not compromise your moral principles

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterConcerned Friend

Are we realling getting West Side Story and In the Heights in 2020?

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

At least they are using the correct ethnic groups...I thuink there dancing will be amazing.As a

past dancer from the 60's,I think DANCE has come a long long way.Do we know the choreographer?

April 17,2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

@Peggy Also 4 more years of Trump

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarcel

@rdf the choreographer is Justin Peck from the New York City Ballet.He won a Tony this year for choreographing the recent revival of Carousel,which is probably why there are a lot of veterans from that show.I'm surprised Ryan Steele wasn't cast.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Wish they'd abandon this unnecessary remake and just film Sunset Boulevard.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

I'd rather just see Robert de Niro do a one-man show singingWest Side Story.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99


April 17,2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

I remember watching David Alvarez win his Tony.He's...grown up.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterHoneybee

I'm going to be picky about semantics but is "former Tony Winner"correct?That suggests he is no longer a Tony winner.He's a previous Tony winner.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterReady

So much beauty in one post!

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Why am I hearing the Jaws theme.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I still think remaking this movie is a mistake but I am happy for all the Latino kids getting a break

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Are there many things more bullshit than remaking West Side Story?Ehh

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

And fucking Ansel Elgort is Tony.LMAO
There is no need for a remake and there is no reason in the world to cast the insufferable Elgort.
Good lord,Spielberg.

April 17,2019 | Unregistered CommenterLol

well,that's a gang [bang] i'd enjoy being part of

your move,jets

April 17,2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Regardless of whether or not anyone needed this remake...that's A LOT of pretty (talented) people.Thirst away!

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I really wanted Naya Rivera to reprise Anita but I'm excited to see what Debose and the rest of this very attractive bunch can do.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

I,also,,think a remake is uncalled for.But then everything is being remade.Where is originality any more????

April 18,2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

I think Anita is gonna get her kicks tonight.

April 18,2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy
April 25,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMika

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