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Ariana DeBose Cast as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

photo via arianadebose.com
Drew Shade

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Tony Award Nominee for her portrayal of Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Ariana DeBose (Summer, Hamilton, A Bronx Tale) will play legendary character Anita in the forthcoming West Side Story movie directed by Steven Spielberg. DeBose follows in the footsteps of some iconic theatre actresses; Chita Rivera, the original Broadway Anita; Debbie Allen, who put her mark on the role in a 1980 Broadway revival, and Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her portrayal in the original film.

Moreno has also been cast in Spielberg’s remake as Valentina, a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.

“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of the remarkable women who have played Anita – including Chita Rivera and, of course, the incomparable Rita Moreno,” said DeBose. “I relate so strongly to Anita – a strong Puerto Rican woman who came to New York in search of opportunity – and I feel so fortunate for the chance to work with this amazing cast and creative team.”

According to Deadline, the cast also includes Tony winner for Billy Elliot, David Alvarez in the role of Bernardo, with Rachel Zegler as Maria, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino, & Ansel Elgort as Tony.

West Side Story filming is slated to start in the summer of 2019 and will be released by Twentieth Century Fox.

The casting of the Jets and the Sharks have yet to be made but will be in the coming weeks.

 

 

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🇵🇷 WEST SIDE STORY has been cherished for decades because it’s not just a love story, but also a culturally significant work whose central premise – that love transcends prejudice and intolerance – hasn’t lost its relevance. In today’s world I am so proud to have the privilege and opportunity to dive into such challenging material – it is what every artist hopes for. Having the chance to work with Steven Spielberg, one of my favorite writers on the planet Tony Kushner, Justin Peck, the legendary Rita Moreno and the rest of the creative team is such an honor. I can’t wait to get on set and start shooting with this amazing group of actors!!!! We haven’t even really got the chance to meet and I’m already in love with you @davidalvarezofficial❤️💋 Cheers to creating something wonderful🥂 #Anita #myfaceisnexttoStevenSpeilbergsname #dreamjob #nowtimetoprepare #thehustleneverstop ##

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Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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Cast List

Amber Riley & MJ Rodriguez Will Star in Little Shop of Horrors

Drew Shade

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Amber Riley and Mj Rodriguez

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olivier Award winner for her portrayal of Effie White in London’s West End production of DreamgirlsAmber Riley (Dreamgirls UK) and Pose star Mj Rodriguez will star in a reimagined production of Little Shop of Horrors at Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Riley will take on the iconic voice of Audrey II while Rodriguez will star as Audrey alongside George Salazar (Be More Chill) as Seymour.

The show will run from Sept. 17-Oct. 20 with an official opening set for Sept. 25.

Little Shop of Horrors is considered a classic. It’s a horror-comedy rock musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and a book by Howard Ashman. The story follows a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. It debuted Off-Broadway in 1982 and the movie version of 1986 introduced the world to young talents of Gina and Pam Tisha Campell and Tichina Arnold.

Directed by Mike Donahue, the design team includes scenic design by Dane Laffrey; costume design by Danae McQueen; lighting design by Josh Epstein; sound design by Veronika Vorel; and choreography and puppet design by Sean Cawelti.

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Cast List

Daniel J Watts, Dawnn Lewis, + More Join The Cast of Broadway’s Tina—The Tina Turner Musical

Drew Shade

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Tina—The Tina Turner Musical has found and announced it’s cast. As previously announced, Adrienne Warren will return to the title role she originated in the West End. She will be joined by Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton, Lights Out) as Ike Turner, Dawnn Lewis from A Different World fame as Zelma, and Myra Lucretia Taylor (School Girls) as Gran Georgeanna.

The show chronicles the life and times of the rock & roll superstar and will be directed by Phyllida Lloyd with a book written by Katori Hall. Performances begin October 12 with an official opening November 7 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, who took over the title role in the West End will make her Broadway debut and will play Tina at select performances.

The cast will also feature Steven Booth (School of Rock), Nick Rashad Burroughs (Kinky Boots), Gerald Caesar (A Bronx Tale), Holli’ Conwa, Kayla Davion (King Kong), Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Charlie Franklin (The Book of Mormon), Judith Franklin (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Matthew Griffin (Broadway debut), Sheldon Henry (The Prom), David Jennings (Once On This Island), Ross Lekites (Frozen), Robert Lenzi (Tuck Everlasting), Gloria Manning, Rob Marnell (Beautiful), Mehret Marsh (The Lion King), Jhardon DiShon Milton (A Bronx Tale), Destinee Rea (The Book of Mormon), Mars Rucker, Jessica Rush (Dear Evan Hansen), Allysa Shorte (Spongebob Squarepants), Carla Stewart (The Color Purple), Jayden Theophile (Broadway debut), Antonio Watson (Broadway debut), and Katie Webber (Rock of Ages).

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