The Fugard Theatre has announced the full cast for the final return South African season of the critically acclaimed West Side Story that opens at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town on 7 March 2018.
The exceptional Lynelle Kenned (Orpheus in Africa, Blood Brothers, Showboat) will reprise the role of Maria for which she won the Fleur du Cap for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016. Tony, the leader of the Jets gang, will be played by US-born actor Kevin Hack who has performed the role almost 400 times and recently completed the international tour playing the role in the 60th anniversary international tour of Michael Brenner's production of West Side Story. His other hit show credits include Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Catch Me If You Can: The Musical and The Civil War.
Other principal cast members reprising their roles are Bianca Le Grange as Anita (Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Stephen Jubber as Riff (Aunty Merle the Musical, Annie, Mamma Mia!) and Sven-Eric Muller as Diesel (Funny Girl, Cabaret). Craig Urbani (Rock of Ages, Sound of Music, Isidingo) returns as Shrank, the role he performed in the Johannesburg season, with Richard Lothian (The Play That Goes Wrong) once again playing Officer Krupke. Daniel Richards (Aunty Merle the Musical, State Fracture, Pay Back the Curry) re-joins the cast as Bernardo and James Borthwick (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rhythm City, Evita) will take the role of Doc. Michael Fullard (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Jonathan Raath (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Cameron Botha (Funny Girl, Pinocchio, Sweeney Todd), Benton-Steele Botes (69 For your (Adult) Eyes Only), Lee van der Merwe (Immortal), Gemma Trehearn (Sacred Space), Michèle Trobe (Funny Girl), Jenna Robinson-Child (Cabaret), Brittané van Loggerenberg (A Spartacus of Africa), Clint Lesch (Calling Me Home), Duane Williams (7de Laan), Thami Njoko (Honey 3: Dare To Dance), Shaun Oelf (Fishers of Hope), Tevin Wiener (Honey 3: Dare to Dance), Nurit Graff (Saturday Night Fever), Claire Boswell (Singin’ in the Rain), Hardy Keeve (4) and Kirsten Rossiter (Peter Pan), Chloe Perling (Cabaret), Kirsty Ndawo (Chicago), Ernestine Stuurman (Tiger Bay), Sarah Ann van der Merwe (Pinocchio), Julio Jantjies (A Spartacus of Africa), Logan Timbre (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Lesego van Niekerk (African Footprint) complete the talented cast.
West Side Story, a production by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, exploded on to the Cape Town stage in the winter of 2015 and due to overwhelming demand will return to the Artscape stage for one final season in South Africa. The grand-scale musical, known globally for an unforgettable score that marries stirring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, retells William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and is set in New York City's Upper West Side in the late 1950s. It follows the heart breaking, short-lived love story of two young and idealistic lovers, Tony and Maria, who are caught between two warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. The extended dynamic dance scenes and iconic songs such as "Something's Coming", "Maria", "I Feel Pretty" and “Tonight”, all set to Bernstein’s magnificent score, make for riveting theatre.
The Fugard Theatre’s West Side Story brings together the same award-winning core creative team behind other superb Fugard Theatre productions The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret and Funny Girl. Matthew Wild is director, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder is musical director and conductor, and Louisa Talbot is the choreographer, with Grant van Ster (Calling me Home, Aunty Merle the Musical) as Resident Choreographer. With a full orchestra and an outstanding cast of forty, West Side Story is once again set to sweep Capetonians off their feet.
West Side Story is at the Artscape Opera House from 7 March to 8 April 2018. Performances are from Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, on Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm.
Tickets from R150 to R470 are available through Artscape on 0214217695, Computicket on 08619158000 and any Shoprite or Checkers outlets. Discounts for Friends of the Fugard and tickets for the general public are also available via the Fugard Theatre box office on 0214614554