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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

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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Cast List

The Secret Life of Bees Is Now a Musical; Will Star LaChanze, Saycon Sengbloh, & More Off-Broadway

Drew Shade

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LaChanze Photo via Facebook

The New York Times bestselling novel and the critically acclaimed feature film is now becoming a musical! The Sue Monk Kidd classic is coming to the Atlantic Theater Company. Saycon Sengbloh (Eclipsed, Wicked) will star as Rosaleen, a Black caretaker who runs away with Lily, played by Elizabeth Teeter (The Audience, The Crucible), to uncover the mysteries surrounding Lily’s mother’s death.

LaChanze (The Color PurpleSummer: The Donna Summer Musical) will play beekeeper August Boatwright, with Eisa Davis (Kings) as June, Manoel Felciano as T-Ray, Lily’s abusive father, Brett Gray (On My Block) as Zach, and Anastacia McCleskey (Waitress) as May.

South Carolina, 1964. Lily Owens, a restless white teenager, struggles with her merciless father and the haunting memory of her mother’s death. When Rosaleen, her black caregiver, is beaten and jailed for asserting her right to vote, Lily’s rebellious spirit is ignited. She and Rosaleen escape on an adventure where they are taken in by a trio of black beekeeping sisters. While Lily tries to unlock the secrets of her past, she and Rosaleen find solace in the mesmerizing world of bees and spirituality in this extraordinary tale of awakening, fellowship, and healing.

The ensemble will include Jai’Len Christine Li Josey (Spongebob, Witness Uganda). Romelda Teron Benjamin, Joe Cassidy, Vita E. Cleveland, and Matt DeAngelis.

Set to begin previews May 12, 2019, with an official opening Off-Broadway June 13th, and eyes on a Broadway transfer, The Secret Life of Bees features music by Duncan Sheik, Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, and a book by Lynn Nottage and will be directed by Sam Gold. Performances are scheduled to run through July 7.

The Secret Life of Bees was a 2008 American drama film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Will Smith, with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, as executive producer. The cast included Dakota Fanning as Lily Owens, Jennifer Hudson as Rosaleen, Queen Latifah as August Boatwright, Alicia Keys as June Boatwright, and Tony Award winner Sophie Okonedo as May Boatwright

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