COMPLETE CAST FOR THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED BROADWAY REVIVAL OF “WEST SIDE STORY” ANNOUNCED
FOR RELEASE ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, 2019
SOMETHING’S COMING. SOMETHING GOOD.
COMPLETE CAST FOR THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED
BROADWAY REVIVAL OF
“WEST SIDE STORY”
TONY AWARD® WINNER
IVO VAN HOVE
ALL NEW CHOREOGRAPHY BY
ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER
PERFORMANCES WILL BEGIN DECEMBER 10, 2019
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR FEBRUARY 6, 2020
AT THE BROADWAY THEATRE
New York, NY (July 10, 2019) – Producers Scott Rudin / Barry Diller / David Geffen announced today the complete cast for the most highly-anticipated theatrical project of the new season: the Broadway return of the Jerome Robbins / Arthur Laurents / Leonard Bernstein / Stephen Sondheim masterwork, West Side Story. A new production directed by Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove, this West Side Story will feature all-new choreography, for the first time ever in the United States, by the internationally acclaimed Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. West Side Story will begin performances on December 10, 2019, ahead of an official opening night on February 6, 2020, at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway).
Featuring an unprecedented 23 actors making their Broadway debuts, this cast of West Side Story will include Shereen Pimentel as Maria, Isaac Powell as Tony, Yesenia Ayala as Anita, Amar Ramasar as Bernardo, Ben Cook as Riff, Ahmad Simmons as Diesel, Danny Wolohan as Officer Krupke, Jacob Guzman as Chino, Kevin Csolak as A-Rab, Matthew Johnson (debut) as Baby John, Dharon E. Jones (debut) as Action, Zuri Noelle Ford (debut) as Anybodys, Daniel Oreskes as Doc, Pippa Pearthree as Glad Hand, Thomas Jay Ryan as Lt. Schrank, and an ensemble including Alexa De Barr (debut), Daniel Ching (debut), Gabi Campo, Gino Cosculluela (debut), Marc Crousillat (debut), Stephanie Crousillat (debut), Roman Cruz (debut), Tyler Eisenreich (debut), Armando Eleazar (debut), Marlon Feliz (debut), Satori Folkes-Stone (debut), Constance François (debut), Carlos Gonzalez, Jennifer Gruener (debut), Jarred Manista (debut), Michaela Marfori (debut), Michelle Mercedes (debut), Michael Seltzer (debut), Corey John Snide, Sheldon True (debut), Ricky Ubeda, Madison Vomastek (debut), Tony Ward, Bridget Whitman (debut), and Kevin Zambrano (debut).
The production will also feature scenery and lighting design by Mr. van Hove’s longtime collaborator, five-time Tony Award nominee Jan Versweyveld, with costume design by An d’Huys, sound design by Tom Gibbons, video design by Luke Halls, and orchestrations by Tony and Academy Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Alexander Gemignani will serve as music supervisor / musical director. Casting is by Telsey and Company.
West Side Story is based on a conception by Jerome Robbins. The entire original production was directed and choreographed by Mr. Robbins.
When the original production of West Side Story first premiered at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957, it utterly changed the face of the American musical theater. A career-defining milestone for every single member of its towering creative team — Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim, and Robbins — West Side Story reimagined the most enduring love story ever written as a contemporary musical, complete with form-shattering stagecraft and a score for the ages. Now, more than 60 years later, the legacy of that original production, along with subsequent stagings around the globe and the iconic cinematic adaptation, has cemented
West Side Story’s place as one the most significant cultural achievements of the 20th century.
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B I O G R A P H I E S
Shereen Pimentel (Maria) is currently a recipient of a Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Theater: Young Nala in The Lion King (Broadway); Road Show (Encores! Off-Center); Rapunzel in Into the Woods (Juilliard).
Isaac Powell (Tony) is best known for his role as Daniel in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Once On This Island, a role he earned two months after graduating from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Powell is a Grammy Award nominee for his work on the Once On This Island cast album and was also seen in last season’s reboot of “Murphy Brown” on CBS.
Yesenia Ayala (Anita) was most recently on Broadway in the highly acclaimed revival of Carousel. Additional Broadway credits include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Off-Broadway credits include Sweet Charity at the New Group and Trip of Love. Television: “Fosse/Verdon,” “Modern Love.” Film: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Tour: West Side Story. Additional credits include Bombshell: In Concert and Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City. Ayala received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from East Carolina University.
Amar Ramasar (Bernardo) was born in the Bronx, New York, and began his studies at the School of American Ballet. Ramasar became an apprentice with the New York City Ballet in 2000 and joined the Company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2001. He was promoted to Soloist in 2006 and Principal Dancer in 2009. Ramasar was featured in numerous works by George Balanchine including: Agon, Divertimento No. 15, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments, and The Nutcracker. He was also prominently featured in works choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon. In addition, he originated several roles in works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Wayne McGregor, Justin Peck, and Alexei Ratmansky, among others. Ramasar is a Principal Guest Artist with the Teatro dell Opera di Roma and a Principal Guest Artist with Ballet Next. He is also a faculty member of the New York City Musical Theater Summer Intensive of The Joffrey Ballet School. In 2018, Ramasar played Jigger Craigin in the Broadway revival of Carousel. He was the recipient of the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in 2015 and a Mae L. Wien Award in 2000.
Ben Cook (Riff) is appearing in his fifth Broadway show, having most recently played in the original cast of Mean Girls. He made his Broadway debut in the 2009 revival of Ragtime, and went on to perform in Billy Elliot: The Musical and Tuck Everlasting. Cook played the principal roles of both Billy and Michael on the national tour of Billy Elliot and was featured as Race on the first national tour of Newsies, which he reprised for the filmed version of Disney’s Newsies the Broadway Musical. Cook portrayed Aaron Fisher in HBO’s “Paterno” and is featured as Mouthpiece in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Television credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” “House of Cards,” “Veep,” and “30 Rock.”
Ahmad Simmons (Diesel) Ahmad Simmons, born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, is currently in the original Broadway company of Hadestown. He has been previously seen in the Broadway companies of Carousel and Cats, and in A Chorus Line at New York City Center. Simmons made his latest television network appearance co-starring as Ben Vereen in the FX miniseries “Fosse/Verdon.” A graduate of Point Park University with a BFA in Dance, he has toured Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Russia and all across the United States as a dancer with Parsons Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, and Eisenhower Dance Detroit. Simmons is also a choreographer and writer.
Danny Wolohan (Officer Krupke) made his Broadway debut as Boo Radley in the critically acclaimed and record-breaking production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Off-Broadway credits include The Low Road, Assassins, An Octoroon, The Flick, Pocatello, Patron Saint, Verité, Constitution, and Gnit. Television: “When They See Us,” “The Blacklist,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Elementary,” “Veep,” “Boardwalk Empire.”
Jacob Guzman (Chino) began his career with Newsies The Musical on Broadway. Additional credits include NBC’s “Peter Pan Live!,” Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway Revival), the first national tour of Hamilton, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
Kevin Csolak (A-Rab) is currently appearing in Steven Spielberg’s film of West Side Story. Past film credits include Rob Burnett’s We Made This Movie and Henry Alex Rubin’s Disconnect. Broadway credits include Mean Girls and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Television credits include a recurring role in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” guest-starring on “Jessica Jones,” “The MICK,” “KC Undercover,” “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” and “Blue Bloods.” Csolak performed with Justin Timberlake in the 2018 Super Bowl LII Halftime Show and with Hayley Kiyoko at the MTV Video Music Awards. He was also featured in Amy Schumer’s viral and Emmy Award-winning music video, “Girl You Don’t Need Make-Up” on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.” Additional credits include Cirque Du Soleil’s Wintuk (World Premiere), The Prom (lab), and The Burnt Part Boys (lab).
Matthew Johnson (Baby John) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and just completed his freshman year as a dance major at The Juilliard School. Johnson is making his Broadway debut with West Side Story. Prior to Juilliard, Johnson attended Edward R. Murrow High School as a theater major. In 2013, he performed at the Broadway Beacon Awards, and during this time he performed with the Boys & Girls Choir of Harlem. He has had the privilege to perform with them at events such as Superbowl XLVIII’s Superbowl Boulevard. Johnson also attended the Alvin Ailey School Professional Division Summer Intensives and the Hubbard Street Pre-Professional Repertoire Intensive.
Dharon E. Jones (Action) is a Brooklyn native making his Broadway debut in West Side Story. Theater: first site-specific Little Shop of Horrors. Television: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Film: Champions, Saturday Church. Student at Ithaca College.
Zuri Noelle Ford (Anybodys) was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and began her dance training at DeKalb School of the Arts. She went on to pursue a BFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she had the opportunity to work with numerous notable choreographers. Upon graduating, Ford went on to freelance with various artists in the NYC area and is making her on-screen debut as an ensemble dancer in the feature film In The Heights. West Side Story marks her Broadway debut.
Daniel Oreskes (Doc) recently played the role of Hirschfeld/Peres in the Tony Award-winning Oslo at Lincoln Center. Other Broadway credits include Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Miracle Worker, Aida, Electra, and The Song of Jacob Zulu. Off-Broadway credits include Taylor Mac’s Hir (Playwrights Horizons); The Revisionist with Vanessa Redgrave and Jesse Eisenberg (Cherry Lane Theatre); Russian Transport, Happy Talk with Susan Sarandon (The New Group); Quills (New York Theatre Workshop); and Twenty-Seventh Man (The Public Theater). Film credits include The Thomas Crown Affair and The Devil’s Advocate. Television credits include “The Sopranos,” “Rescue Me,” “Show Me A Hero,” “Madam Secretary,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law and Order,” “The Deuce,” and many others.
Pippa Pearthree (Glad Hand). Broadway: Tuck Everlasting; Noises Off; You Can’t Take It With You; Boeing, Boeing; The History Boys; Titanic; Whose Life is it Anyway?. Off-Broadway: A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room, American Days, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Aunt Dan and Lemon. Television: “Law and Order,” “The Good Fight,” “House of Cards,” “Buffalo Bill.” Film: Mrs. Soffel, John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned, The Hurricane, The Seagull.
Thomas Jay Ryan (Lt. Schrank). West Side Story is Mr. Ryan’s fifth production with Ivo van Hove, following The Crucible (Broadway); A View From The Bridge (Ahmanson/Kennedy Center); The Little Foxes; and The Misanthrope (NYTW). He has also appeared on Broadway in The Nap and In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play. Recent Off-Broadway credits include Dance Nation, The Amateurs, Measure For Measure, 10 Out Of 12, and many others. His film credits include The Plagiarist, Burn Country, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the title role in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy. He has received a Calloway Award, two Drama Desk Awards, and Drama League and Gemini Award nominations.
Alexa De Barr will be making her Broadway debut in West Side Story. New York: I Married an Angel (Encores! New York City Center), Trip of Love (Stage 42). International tours: An American in Paris, West Side Story. Regional: Jerome Robbins Broadway (The MUNY), Singing in the Rain, Cabaret, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes.
Daniel Ching is a NYC-based actor, dancer, and choreographer who graduated from The Juilliard School as a Hector Zaraspe Award Recipient for choreography. He had the privilege to be an original cast member of the First National Tour of Hamilton. Daniel has shown his own choreographic work at the Dumbo Dance Festival in New York City and the Dance Camera West Festival in California. Other theater credits include Working: A Musical at New York City Center for their Encores! Off-Center 2019 Season. Television: “Younger.”
Gabi Campo. Broadway: The Prom (u/s Emma; Alyssa). Television: “Saturday Night Live,” “73rd Annual Tony Awards”. Regional: In the Heights, Evita. Campo graduated in 2018 from Pace University with a BFA in Musical Theater and is a Los Angeles native.
Gino Cosculluela is making his Broadway debut with this production of West Side Story.
Marc Crousillat is a first-generation Cuban-Peruvian dancer based in New York City. He has danced with The Trisha Brown Dance Company (2014-2019), Netta Yerushalmy, Tere O’Connor, and John Jasperse. Crousillat is also the recipient of a Princess Grace Award (2016) and was listed as one of “Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2017”. West Side Story is his Broadway debut.
Stephanie Crousillat is a first-generation Cuban-Peruvian dancer based in New York. She earned her BFA in photography from Montclair State University. She has performed in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More since 2015, and in the Johannes Wieland Company at the Staatstheater Kassel Theater. She has been featured in various commercials and music videos, and has worked with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janelle Monae, and Mumford & Sons. Film: In the Heights. West Side Story will mark her Broadway debut.
Roman Cruz is a dancer, instructor, and choreographer. He began his formal dance training at Arts High School and went on to study at The Ailey School, The Joffrey Ballet School, and American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, Cruz became the recipient of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center/Star-Ledger Scholarship for the Performing Arts. While studying at The Juilliard School, he has had the privilege of working with such choreographers as Sidra Bell, Alexander Ekman, Luca Vegetti, and Fabien Prioville, while also performing classic works by Jose Limon, Mark Morris, and Nacho Duato. During his sophomore year at Juilliard, Cruz was honored with the Dizzy Feet Scholarship co-founded by Nigel Lythgoe, and starred in Jerome Robbins’ Opus Jazz. He graduated from The Juilliard School with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts on a full scholarship.
Tyler Eisenreich is originally from Blue Springs, Missouri, and is making his Broadway debut with West Side Story. Tyler was most recently seen in The Muny’s production of Guys and Dolls. He previously spent two years touring the country with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Additional credits: Chicago, Hairspray, The Addams Family (New Theatre Restaurant); Carousel (Kansas City Repertory Theatre and The Living Room Theatre); Shrek, Spring Awakening, Once Upon a Mattress (The Coterie Theatre, Kansas City).
Armando Eleazar was born and raised in Juarez, Mexico, where he began performing at the age of 18. After a year of self-teaching, he was accepted into the AMDA College of The Performing Arts in Los Angeles, where he received his BFA. Since graduating, he has been traveling the world performing and working with great names in the industry. West Side Story marks his Broadway debut.
Marlon Feliz. Originally from Miami, FL, Marlon is a proud alumna of New World School of the Arts and NYU’s Tisch Dance BFA program. Notable credits include a National Tour of Saturday Night Fever, ¡Havana!, directed by Warren Carlyle, and many international tours with Pilobolus performing principal roles in Shadowland and Shadowland: The New Adventure.
Satori Folkes-Stone is making her Broadway debut in this production of West Side Story. Folkes-Stone is a recent graduate of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Her performance credits include works by Azsure Barton, D. Sabela Grimes, Barak Marshall, and William Forsythe.
Constance François is a Haitian-Taiwanese American actress and dancer from Baltimore City, Maryland. Through the years, she has performed pre-professionally and professionally around Baltimore and is particularly passionate about how the arts and activism intersect. In 2017, she performed at Baltimore Ceasefire, an initiative to reduce violence in Baltimore, and would later write and direct a play focusing on the empowerment of black girls for the summer program, ‘A Revolutionary Summer’. Constance graduated from the theater program at the Baltimore School for the Arts in 2018 and is currently pursuing her BFA in Dance at the Peabody Conservatory, where she focuses on contemporary dance. In addition to the performing arts, Constance is a lifelong TaeKwonDo practitioner.
Carlos Gonzalez was born and raised in Cuba and graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA in Acting. Gonzalez made his Broadway debut in On Your Feet!, for which he was nominated for the Fred Astaire Award as Outstanding Male Dancer. Film: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
Jennifer Gruener. New York credits: Trip of Love (Stage 42) and I Married an Angel (New York City Center). Regional credits: Barrington Stage Company, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. Television: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Elementary,” and the iHeartRadio Music Video Awards with Camilla Cabello. Graduate of the Indiana University Ballet Jacobs School of Music. West Side Story marks her Broadway debut.
Jarred Manista is making his Broadway debut in this production of West Side Story. His recent credits include Baby John in West Side Story at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Fender in Hairspray at Skylight Music Theatre. Manista is an award-winner at several competitions and conventions including, the RADIX Dance Competition, Artistic Dance Exchange, 24 Seven Dance, The PULSE on Tour, NUVO Dance Convention, and the New York City Dance Alliance. He is a recent graduate of Dominican High School in Milwaukee, WI.
Michaela Marfori is originally from Orlando, Florida. For the past 14 years, Marfori has trained in many styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and acrobatics. She has been actively involved in competitive dance, earning 3 national titles including the Star Systems Junior Miss Superstar in 2014, America’s Junior Dancer of the Year in 2015, and American’s Teen Dancer of the Year in 2018. West Side Story will mark her professional and Broadway debut at the age of 16.
Michelle Mercedes is a Miami native and a graduate of Florida State University. While in New York, she has worked with Urban Bush Women, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, and Dance Lab New York. She has performed at Arrow Rock Lyceum, the Metropolitan Opera, and Virginia Repertory Theatre.
Michael Seltzer is making his Broadway debut in West Side Story. Regional: Paint Your Wagon, Jersey Boys (MUNY), Lost in Yonkers, Guys and Dolls (Weston Playhouse). BFA Musical Theatre: The Boston Conservatory.
Corey John Snide led the West End and Australian companies of Billy Elliot: The Musical in the title role, and soon after appeared in Jason Robert Brown’s original Broadway cast of 13 The Musical. He is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School for Dance and since graduating has been the Dance Captain for the recent Broadway revivals of Carousel and Cats.
Sheldon True began his training in jazz, contemporary, ballet, and hip-hop from the age of five at the Shelly True Dance Academy in Denver, Colorado. Since moving to Los Angeles after high school, he has been developing a series of programs called “Trucre8r” to empower the leadership and life skills of upcoming young talent and social media influencers. West Side Story makes his Broadway debut.
Ricky Ubeda is originally from Miami, FL. He has been seen on Broadway in On the Town, Cats (Mistoffelees), and the most recent revival of Carousel. Television credits include “So You Think You Can Dance” (season 11 winner) and “Fosse/Verdon.” Film: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
Madison Vomastek is a graduate of the inaugural class at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where she had the opportunity to perform work by Alejandro Cerrudo, Aszure Barton, Crystal Pite, Jodie Gates, Jiri Kylian, Sonya Tayeh, and William Forsythe. In February 2019, she performed with USC Kaufman’s New York debut at the Joyce Theatre. She has been a guest artist with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Gala De Danza, Laguna Dance Festival, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Additionally, she was the lead in the 2018 Backstreet Boys music video “Chances.”
Tony Ward’s Broadway credits include The Front Page, The Audience, Twelfth Night/Richard III (with Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Little Foxes, Blackbird, The Norman Conquests, The Columnist. National Tour: Twelve Angry Men. Numerous Off-Broadway and Regional credits. Television: “New Amsterdam,” “Person of Interest,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Ironside,” “Smash,” “Law & Order,” “Guiding Light.” Film: Theresa Rebeck’s Trouble, James Gray’s The Immigrant. He received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1994.
Bridget Whitman is a professional dancer and native to Tempe, Arizona. She received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia under the direction of Donna Faye, and was a recipient of the Susan B. Glazer scholarship. Credits include “So You Think You Can Dance” (Season 11), Rock the Ballet (International Tour), Paris by Night, Peter Pan; A Pirates Christmas.
Kevin Zambrano recently graduated with a BFA in dance from CalArts in 2018. He has performed with artists such as Solange Knowles and Charli XCX, for choreographers Gerard and Kelly and Rubberlegz, as well as a plethora of LA based companies. His choreographic work has been presented in Seoul, Korea, in Amsterdam, and at REDCAT in Los Angeles. West Side Story marks Zambrano’s Broadway debut.
Jerome Robbins is world-renowned for his work as a choreographer of ballets, as well as for his work as a director and choreographer in theater, movies and television. His Broadway shows include On the Town, Billion Dollar Baby, High Button Shoes, West Side Story, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan, Miss Liberty, Call Me Madam, and Fiddler on the Roof. His last Broadway production in 1989, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, won six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director. Among the more than 60 ballets he created are Fancy Free, Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, Dances At a Gathering, Les Noces, In the Night, In G Major, Other Dances, Glass Pieces and Ives, Songs, which are in the repertories of New York City Ballet and other major dance companies throughout the world. His last ballets include A Suite of Dances, created for Mikhail Baryshnikov (1994), 2 & 3 Part Inventions (1994), West Side Story Suite (1995), and Brandenburg (1996). In addition to two Academy Awards for the film West Side Story, Mr. Robbins has received four Tony Awards, five Donaldson Awards, an Emmy Award, the Directors Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Mr. Robbins was a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was awarded the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.
Arthur Laurents. American playwright and director Arthur Laurents wrote the books for numerous Broadway hits, most notably the seminal musicals West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959), during a career that spanned some 60 years. After graduating in 1937 with an English degree from Cornell University, Mr. Laurents wrote scripts for radio programs such as The Thin Man. In 1941, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and wrote for military training films and radio programs, an experience that inspired his first Broadway play, Home of the Brave (1945). Other notable Broadway plays and musicals that he wrote and/or directed include Time of the Cuckoo (1952), which he later adapted into the musical Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965); I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), which launched the career of Barbra Streisand; Anyone Can Whistle (1964); the Tony Award-winning musical Hallelujah, Baby! (1967); and the Tony Award-winning musical La Cage aux Folles (1983), for which he won the Tony for Best Director. His noteworthy screenplays include Rope (1948), Anastasia (1956), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), The Way We Were (1973), and The Turning Point (Academy Award nomination, 1977). In 2008 Laurents received his sixth Tony nomination, for directing the revival of Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone.
Leonard Bernstein is the American conductor, composer, and pianist noted for his accomplishments in both classical and popular music, for his flamboyant conducting style, and for his pedagogic flair, especially in concerts for young people. Bernstein played piano from age 10 and attended Boston Latin School, Harvard University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. In 1943, Bernstein was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic; the first signal of his forthcoming success came on November 14, 1943, when he was summoned unexpectedly to substitute for the conductor Bruno Walter. His technical self-assurance and his interpretive excellence made an immediate impression and marked the beginning of a brilliant career. He subsequently conducted the New York City Center Orchestra (1945–47) and appeared as guest conductor in the United States, Europe, and Israel. In 1953, he became the first American to conduct at La Scala in Milan. From 1958 to 1969, Bernstein was conductor and musical director of the New York Philharmonic, becoming the first American-born holder of those posts. With this orchestra he made several international tours in Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan. His popularity increased through his appearances not only as conductor and pianist, but also as a commentator and entertainer. Bernstein explained classical music to young listeners on such television shows as “Omnibus” and “Young People’s Concerts”. After 1969, he continued to write music and to perform as a guest conductor with several symphonies throughout the world. As a composer, Bernstein made skillful use of diverse elements ranging from biblical themes, as in the Symphony No. 1 (1942; also called Jeremiah); and the Chichester Psalms (1965); to jazz rhythms, as in the Symphony No. 2 (1949; The Age of Anxiety); after a poem by W.H. Auden; to Jewish liturgical themes, as in the Symphony No. 3 (1963; Kaddish). His best-known works are the Broadway musicals On the Town (1944), Wonderful Town (1953), Candide (1956), and West Side Story. He also wrote the scores for the ballets Fancy Free (1944), Facsimile (1946), and Dybbuk (1974), and he composed the music for the film On the Waterfront (1954), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. His Mass, written especially for the occasion, was performed at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in September 1971. In 1989, he conducted two historic performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (1824; Choral), which were held in East and West Berlin to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, Bernstein was awarded the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for music.
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (Tony Award – Best Musical and Best Original Score 1971), Follies (Tony Award – Best Original Score 1972), A Little Night Music (Tony Award – Best Musical and Best Original Score 1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (Tony Award – Best Musical and Best Original Score 1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (Pulitzer Prize 1985), Into The Woods (Tony Award – Best Original Score 1988), Assassins (1991), Passion (Tony Award – Best Musical and Best Original Score 1994) and Road Show (2008), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), Moving On (2001) and Sondheim On Sondheim (2010) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. For film, he composed the score of Stavisky (1974), co-composed the score for Reds (1981) and wrote songs for Dick Tracy (1990). He wrote songs for the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away With Murder (1996) and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls Of Summer (1956), Invitation To A March (1961), Twigs (1971) and The Enclave (1973). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat (2010) and Look, I Made A Hat (2011). In 2010, the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed The Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honor.
Ivo van Hove (Director). Currently the director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam (since 2001), Ivo van Hove began his career in 1981 and quickly became the director of Het Zuidelijk Toneel from 1990 to 2000. From 1998 to 2004, he was the artistic director of the Holland Festival, presenting his selection of international theater, music, opera, and dance. Mr. van Hove has most recently been represented on Broadway with Network, and the critically acclaimed revivals of The Crucible and A View from the Bridge, which won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival and earned him his first Tony Award for Best Director. Additional theater work includes Network and Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre; A View from the Bridge at The Young Vic and on the West End; David Bowie and Edna Walsh’s Lazarus in New York and London; Visconti’s The Damned at La Comédie-Française and The Park Avenue Armory; Rent; and Angels in America, Roman Tragedies, Kings of War, Opening Night, Antonioni, Taming of the Shrew, Scenes from a Marriage, After the Rehearsal/Persona, Othello, The Miser, Mourning Becomes Electra, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and The Fountainhead at Toneelgroep Amsterdam. His opera work includes Boris Godunov at Paris Opera; Lulu; the entire Ring des Nibelungen; The Makropulos Affair and Salome at the Dutch National Opera; the world premiere of Brokeback Mountain in Madrid; and, most recently, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Aix Festival in France. Mr. van Hove has been honored with an Olivier Award for A View from the Bridge (Best Director); two Obie Awards for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler; The Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival; the Critic’s Circle Award; a Molière Award for best production in France; and a Dutch Oeuvre Award, together with Jan Versweyveld. He has also received an honorary doctorate for general merit from the University of Antwerp and the Culture Prize for Overall Cultural Merit from the Flemish Government. Mr. van Hove is a Knight of l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the Crown by King Filip of Belgium.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Choreographer). After studying dance at the Mudra School in Brussels and NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker created Asch in 1980, her first choreographic work. Two years later, she created the internationally acclaimed Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich. De Keersmaeker established the dance company Rosas in 1983 in Brussels, while creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. These breakthrough pieces set the precedent for a choreography consistently grounded in a rigorous and prolific exploration of dance and music, also venturing into theater, text, and interdisciplinary performance. Over the course of her thirty-eight-years-long career, De Keersmaeker has created a large body of work—more than fifty-five choreographies that have toured theaters around the world—engaging the musical structures and scores of several periods, from early music to contemporary and pop. Her practice draws its formal principles from geometry, numerical patterns, the natural world, and social structures to offer a unique perspective on the body’s articulation in space and time. Describing herself first and foremost as a dancer, the choreographer continues to dance in her own work. From 1992 until 2007, De Keersmaeker’s dance company, Rosas, was in residence in the Brussels opera house La Monnaie / De Munt. During this period, De Keersmaeker directed a number of operas and large ensemble pieces that have since been performed by Rosas and by repertoire companies worldwide. Many of her choreographies have been translated to film by directors such as Thierry De Mey, or by De Keersmaeker herself. Her work has received numerous awards, including The Bessie, or the American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography. In 1995, De Keersmaeker established the school P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels in association with La Monnaie / De Munt. De Keersmaeker’s latest pieces manifest a stripping down of their choreography to essential principles: spatial constraints of geometric pattern, bodily parameters of movement generation, from the utmost simplicity of walking to the fullest complexity of dancing, and close adherence to a score (musical or otherwise) for the choreographic writing. In 2013, De Keersmaeker created Vortex Temporum to the spectral music piece of the same name written in 1996 by Gérard Grisey; in 2015, she adapted it to a durational exhibition format at WIELS in Brussels, under the title Work/Travail/Arbeid, which then traveled to the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. At the beginning of 2017, De Keersmaeker was invited by the Paris Opera to direct Mozart’s Così fan tutte. In August of the same year she created Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten with the cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. Her newest choreography, Brandenburg, set to Bach’s six concertos, premiered in fall 2018.
Jan Versweyveld (Scenery and Lighting Design) is a scenographer and lighting designer. He trained at the Sint-Lucas Institute in Brussels and at the Royal Academy in Antwerp, Belgium. Versweyveld became the regular scenographer of the Het Zuidelijk Toneel theater group and joined Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2001, as head of the design department and the group’s regular scenographer and photographer. He has worked on numerous productions as set and lighting designer in Europe, the UK, and the United States. He has worked on all of Ivo van Hove’s theater and opera productions, including, most recently, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and on numerous dance productions by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for Rosas Dance Company. Jan Versweyveld has received numerous awards for his designs. He has been a teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and was one of the cofounders of the scenography training program in Antwerp. Recent works include Network, A View From the Bridge, Lazarus, Hedda Gabler and Obsession.
An D’Huys (Costume Design) studied fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and worked as a designer for fashion house Ann Demeulemeester for over 11 years. Recent work includes The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Aix Festival) Cosi fan tutte, Boris Godonuv (Paris Opera), Network, Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), Obsession (London, Paris, Luxembourg), Lazarus (London and New York Theatre Workshop), The Damned (Comédie-Française), Husbands and Wives, The Things That Pass, Othello, Opening Night, Medea, The Fountainhead, Antigone and Kings of War (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), A View From the Bridge (the Young Vic, West End and Broadway), The Three Sisters, Poquelin, Summerfolk and The Cherry Orchard (TG STAN Antwerp), The Misanthrope (Schaubühne Berlin), Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (Flanders Opera) and Quartet, Bitches Brew and Cassandra (Rosas Brussels). An has also designed costumes for several film productions, including Toto le héros (Jaco van Dormael) and Rosie (Patrice Toye).
Tom Gibbons (Sound Design) is a London-based designer and composer specializing in creative and intelligent sound design for theatre, dance and performance arts. He has been nominated three times for Best Sound Design at the Olivier Awards, winning in 2016. Tom works at theatres in the UK and internationally. He has designed shows at venues in the West End and on Broadway, as well as the NT, Almeida, Young Vic, Old Vic, Royal Court and Barbican, among others. Recent Theatre Includes: Hamlet (Almeida/West End); A View From the Bridge (nominated for Best Sound Design Olivier Award 2015) (Young Vic/West End), Life of Galileo, Happy Days, A Season in the Congo, Disco Pigs (Young Vic), Hedda Gabler, Sunset At The Villa Thalia, The Red Barn, People, Places and Things (Winner – Best Sound Design, Olivier Awards 2016) (National Theatre/West End); Les Miserables (Wermland Opera, Sweden); The Lorax (Old Vic); The Crucible (Walter Kerr Theater Broadway); Oresteia (Almeida Theatre/Trafalgar Studios); Anna Karenina (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Moderate Soprano, Elephants (Hampstead Theatre); White Devil, As You Like It (RSC); Translations, Plenty (Sheffield Crucible); Mr Burns, 1984 (Almeida/West End/Broadway); The Absence of War, Romeo & Juliet (Headlong); Lion Boy (Complicite); Henry IV, Julius Caesar (Donmar, St Ann’s Brooklyn); Grounded (Gate Theatre); The Spire (Salisbury Playhouse); The Angry Brigade, Wasted (Paines Plough); Roundabout Season (Shoreditch Town Hall, Paines Plough); The Rover (Hampton Court Palace); Love Love Love (Royal Court); Dead Heavy Fantastic (Liverpool Everyman); Chalet Lines, The Knowledge, Little Platoons, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre).
Luke Halls (Video Design) has produced video designs and animations for a wide variety of music, theatre and dance performances. Opera work includes Don Giovanni (The Royal Opera House), Otello (Metropolitan Opera) and Carmen (Bregenz Lake Stage). Theatre work includes The Lehman Trilogy (National Theatre, West End, Park Avenue Armory), Ugly Lies The Bone (National Theatre), The Nether (Royal Court), as well as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies. Halls has worked prolifically for music artists, creating video designs and animation for tours by Adele, Beyoncé, Pet Shop Boys, U2 and Rihanna, among others.
Jonathan Tunick (Orchestrations) is an American orchestrator, musical director, and composer. Tunick’s stage career began with Take Five (1957). He went on to collaborate memorably with Stephen Sondheim, orchestrating such shows as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Passion, and Putting It Together. Additional notable Broadway credits include Promises, Promises; A Chorus Line; Nick & Nora; A Funny Thing…; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Nine; A Gentleman’s Guide…; and 110 in the Shade. In 1997, he won his first Tony Award, for his work on the musical Titanic. This accomplishment gave Tunick “EGOT” status: one of only 15 people who have received all four major entertainment awards—he had previously received an Academy Award for A Little Night Music (1977), an Emmy Award for “Night of 100 Stars” (1982) and a Grammy Award for “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods (1988). With over 111 credits to his name over a fifty-year career, Tunick is the most prolific and acclaimed orchestrator in Broadway history.
Alexander Gemignani (Music Supervisor / Musical Director) most recently created the orchestrations and served as musical director for the Fiasco Theatre’s production of Merrily We Roll Along at the Roundabout Theatre Company. He is currently the artistic director of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Music Theatre Conference. As an actor, Mr. Gemignani was most recently seen as Alfred P. Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theatre’s revival of My Fair Lady. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his performance as Enoch Snow in the Broadway revival of Carousel. Other Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd (Drama Desk nomination), Assassins (Theatre World Award), and Avenue Q. Regional: Pittsburgh CLO, North Shore Music Theatre, the Huntington Theatre, and Chautauqua Opera. Concerts: Sondheim’s 75th at the Hollywood Bowl, and Wall to Wall Sondheim at Symphony Space (original cast recording). TV/Film : Lt. Torasso in the “Live From Lincoln Center” Emmy Award-winning broadcast of Passion, Stewpot in PBS’s “Great Performances” production of South Pacific at Carnegie Hall (original cast recording and DVD), and the film, The Producers.
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