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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

Shoshana Bean Will Return To Broadway In Waitress

Drew Shade

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Now, this may seem off-kilter but trust me, it’s not. The producers of Broadway musical Waitress have announced today that Shoshana Bean will take over the role of Jenna on March 18 and will be in the show through May 12, 2019.

Shoshana Bean is a treasure. Her vocal ability and overall presence is a gift that keeps on giving.  She was last seen in concert with Cynthia Erivo at The Apollo Theatre and also slaying all the tracks with Mykal Kilgore on the new Songs for a New World remake album. Her latest album Spectrum landed her at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts & she made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Hairspray and starred as the first replacement for Elphaba in Wicked. Most recently in the theatre, she appeared as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and as Cee-Cee Bloom in the new musical adaptation of Beaches.

Shoshana Bean said, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the New York stage in such a special role and show! To get to tell this beautiful woman’s story and sing this extraordinary score is an honor.”

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “ The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness. 

Shoshana will take over the role of Jenna from Stephanie Torns and joins Charity Angél Dawson as Becky & Lenne Klingaman as Dawn. Find out more at waitressthemusical

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Cast List

Adrienne Warren Will Star In Tina The Tina Turner Musical On Broadway

Drew Shade

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Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner in the West End cast of TINA Photo by Manuel Harlan

Adrienne Warren Photo by Ted Ely

As previously reportedTina the musical about the iconic entertainer Tina Turner will be headed to Broadway this fall. Announced today, Adrienne Warren who currently stars in the production on The West End through April 13, 2019, will reprise her role for the upcoming Broadway production.

Also released today, the first single from the upcoming Tina – The Tina Turner Musical cast album, featuring Adrienne Warren performing the iconic song “River Deep – Mountain High”. Warren is featured on an accompanying music video of the single also released today. Watch the video below.

“Working on this show has been a life-changing experience for me. Tina’s unshakable courage, grace, and determination have been our constant inspiration, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to be part of this telling of her story. It has been an amazing year in London, working with the incredible Phyllida Lloyd, Katori Hall, and the creative team, in a city that has welcomed me with open arms. Returning home to Broadway, in this role and in this show, is a dream come true”. – Adrienne Warren

Tina Turner in the rehearsal room for TINA Photo by Hugo Glendinning

“I’m so proud of everything that Adrienne has achieved over the last year in the West End. She has given it everything she’s got, she has poured her soul into it, and she deserves every success. I am thrilled she will be reprising her role in New York, and I cannot wait to see her on that Broadway stage on Opening Night.” – Tina Turner

Dates, venue, and additional casting for Broadway will be announced at a later date

The musical features the original discography of Turner with a book written by Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins and directed by Phyllida Lloyd

The creative team also includes choreography by Anthony van Laast, with set and costume designs by Mark Thompson, musical supervision, additional music and arrangements by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Bruno Poet, sound by Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Jeff Sugg and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.

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