Press: A Grand Scale West Side Story for the Artscape Theatre Opera House from 23 July

West Side Story opens in ten days! 


Presented at Artscape by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, West Side Story, the highly anticipated musical masterpiece by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim, based on an original conception of Jerome Robbins, opens at the Opera House on 23 July 2015. 


Under the direction of Matthew Wild, the musical direction of Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and with choreography by Louisa Talbot, the Fugard Theatre team that brought audiences the sell out seasons of The Rocky Horror Show and Cabaret will present the very best of South African theatre talent in their production of this classical masterpiece that first premiered on Broadway in 1957.


With a cast of 40, and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra pit conducted by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, this is a must-see for the whole family and a highlight on the 2015 musical theatre calendar. Bernstein's magnificent score includes the world famous "Something's Coming", “Maria”, "I Feel Pretty” and “Tonight”. 


The story, inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of different backgrounds. The members of the Sharks are taunted by the Jets.The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and the focus on social conflict marked a turning point in American musical theatre. 


The powerful all local cast will be led by South African theatre stars Jonathan Roxmouth (Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, A Handful of Keys, Grease) as Tony, Lynelle Kenned (Blood Brothers, Showboat, Orpheus in Africa) as Maria, Bianca Le Grange (Blood Brothers) as Anita , Christopher Jaftha (Dirty Dancing) as Bernardo and Daniel Buys (Jersey boys, The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret) as Action.  Other cast members include Stephen Jubber, Adrian Galley,  Sven-Eric Müller, Matthew Berry, Michael Wallace, Cameron Botha, Angela Inglis, Delray Halgryn, Michèle La Trobe, Jenna Robinson Child, Claire Taylor, Daniel Richards, Sonwa Sakuba, Thami Njoko, Rory Marais, Sabelo Radebe, Kirsten Rossiter, Sarah Anne van der Merwe, Natasha Hess, Lee Piedt, Felipa van Eck, Chloe Perling, Oleksii Ischenko, Nurit Graff and Dominique Maher.


The West Side Story season runs from 23 July to 23 August 2015 at the Artscape Opera House.  Performances are from Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, on Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm and 6pm. Tickets cost from R95 to R400 through Computicket or 0861 915 8000 or via the Artscape box office on 021 421 7695. Advance booking is highly recommended.



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