MILLBURN, NJ - Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to announce complete casting for Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's classic musical West Side Story, directed by Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee and Jerome Robbins’ original choreography recreated by Alex Sanchez. West Side Story is based on a conception by Jerome Robbins and features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Leading the company are Matt Doyle as Tony, Belinda Allyn as Maria, Natalie Cortez as Anita, German Alexander as Bernardo and Mikey Winslow as Riff. West Side Story will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from June 1 through June 26, 2016. The official press opening night is Sunday, June 5, 2016, at 7:00 pm. West Side Story's major sponsor is J.P. Morgan and the production is co-sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2015-2016 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.
West Side Story is the stunning, groundbreaking and legendary musical that set the bar for all musical theater. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s New York City as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.
West Side Story will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
“West Side Story is such a special show to me. It was the first show I performed in when I was 14 years old and then many years later as a professional dancer I got to work on the material with Jerome Robbins,” remarked Producing Artistic Director and show director Mark S. Hoebee. “I am now excited to work with this young, incredibly talented company of actors – many who have not done the show before – to breathe new energy into one of the best musicals of all time.”
Matt Doyle (Tony), a resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, performed on Broadway in The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Bye Bye Birdie and Spring Awakening. After performing in Spring Awakening on Broadway, Mr. Doyle starred in the musical’s national tour as Melchior. Mr. Doyle appeared on the CW’s hit television show Gossip Girl. Some of Mr. Doyle’s regional credits include Jasper in Deadland, Grey Gardens and Giant.
Belinda Allyn (Maria) recently made her Broadway debut in Allegiance. Ms. Allyn performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Last spring Ms. Allyn performed the role of Maria in Riverside Theatre’s production of West Side Story.
Natalie Cortez (Anita), a resident of West Orange, New Jersey, starred on Broadway as Diana Morales in A Chorus Line and Anita in West Side Story. Ms. Cortez was recently featured in Here Lies Love at the Public Theater. On tour, Ms. Cortez was seen in Fame and Cinderella. Ms. Cortez appeared in regional productions of West Side Story, Giant, and Anything Goes, among others.
German Alexander (Bernardo) reprises the role he played on the West Side Story national tour. Mr. Alexander performed alongside Alice Ripley, Greg Jbara and Chad Kimball in Little Fish at the Blank Theater in Los Angeles. Some of Mr. Alexander’s regional credits include Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, The Music Man and more.
Mikey Winslow (Riff) appeared on Broadway in On the Town, West Side Story and American Idiot. On tour, Mr. Winslow was seen in Wicked. Mr. Winslow appeared in regional productions of A Chorus Lineand West Side Story.
Maria Briggs (Anybodys) appeared in the national tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. In New York, Ms. Briggs was also seen in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Michael Bullard (Big Deal) performed the role of Baby John in the West Side Story international tour. Some of Mr. Bullard’s regional credits include La Cage aux Folles, The Music Man and Guys and Dolls. Spencer Clark (Gee-Tar) recently appeared in the Old Globe Theater’s production of In Your Arms. Mr. Clark was also seen in The Winter’s Tale at the Public Theater.
John Michael Fiumara (Diesel) was seen on Broadway in Newsies and on tour in Matilda. Mr. Fiumara also appeared in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Kevin C. Loomis (Krupke) appeared on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Inherit the Wind. Dean Andre de Luna (Chino) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he was last seen in High School Musical. Mr. De Luna performed in West Side Story on Broadway and on tour.
William Ragsdale (Schrank) was seen on Broadway in Getting Away With Murder and Biloxi Blues. Some of Mr. Ragsdale’s television credits include Criminal Minds, Entourage, CSI, Desperate Housewives, Curb Your Enthusiasm and more. Jay Russell (Doc) performed on Broadway in End of the Rainbow and The Play What I Wrote. Mr. Russell played Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast nationaltour.
Parker Slaybaugh (Baby John) appeared in national tours of Hello Dolly! and Oliver!. Some of Mr. Slaybaugh’s regional credits include Camelot, West Side Story and My Fair Lady. Jack Sippel (A-Rab) performed in the Broadway companies of Newsies and Memphis. Brendan Stimson (Snowboy) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he was last seen as Oscar Delancey in Newsies. On Broadway, Mr. Stimson was seen in Something Rotten!, Newsies and West Side Story.
Craig Waletzko (Glad Hand) was seen on Broadway in Guys and Dolls, Young Frankenstein, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Gypsy. Mr. Waletzko appeared in touring productions of Kinky Boots and Young Frankenstein. Cody Williams (Action) was seen on Broadway in On the Town, Cinderella and Memphis. Mr. Williams received a Helen Hayes nomination for his role as Will Parker in Oklahoma at Arena Stage. In New York, Mr. Williams performed in Yank! at Roundabout Theatre Company and in Guys and Dollsat Carnegie Hall.
Rounding out the ensemble are: Danny Bevins, Victoria Casillo, Damian Chambers, Philip Colgan, Brittany Conigatti, Lauren Csete, Tenealle Farragher, Lisa Finegold, Jordan Isadore, Ilda Mason, Kat Nejat, Kevin Michael Raponey, Alexia Sky, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Jayme Wappel and James Allen Washington.
Mark S. Hoebee (Director, Producing Artistic Director) joined the artistic team at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2000. Under his artistic leadership, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh, Paper Mill launched the American premiere of the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables in 2010 and, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, was home to the world premiere of Newsies in 2011. On Broadway, Mr. Hoebee directed the Actors Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. Mr. Hoebee directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Grammy winner Toni Tennille, Dreamgirls, Company and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. Some of Mr. Hoebee’s directing credits at Paper Mill Playhouse include Dreamgirls, Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh, Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons, Meet Me in St. Louis, The King and I, Miss Saigon, Disney’s High School Musical, Peter Pan, Smokey Joe’s Café, Damn Yankees, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Curtains, The Full Monty starring Broadway legend Elaine Stritch and Oliver!.
Alex Sanchez (Choreographer) appeared in the original Broadway companies of The Red Shoes, Carousel, Big, Follies, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fosse and Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life. Mr. Sanchez also appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally’s Love! Valor! Compassion!, Once Upon a Mattress and Wonderful Town. Some of Mr. Sanchez’s work as a choreographer includes Where’s Charley? and Fiorello at New York City Center Encores, Giant at the Public Theater, Far From Heaven at Playwrights Horizon, 42nd Street at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid at the Muny and more.
Steve Orich (Music Director) received a 2006 Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestrations for Jersey Boys. Mr. Orich served as Musical Director/Orchestrator for Paper Mill Playhouse and Pasadena Playhouse’s productions of Can-Can. Mr. Orich musically directed and orchestrated many musicals at Pasadena Playhouse including Jersey Boys, 110 in the Shade, Do I Hear a Waltz? and A Class Act. Mr. Orich has worked at the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl.
The West Side Story design team includes:
James Youmans (Scenic Design) designed sets for the Broadway productions of Come Fly Away, West Side Story, Gypsy and Swinging on a Star. Some of Mr. Youmans’ work off-Broadway includes Matt and Ben, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jeffrey, Sight Unseen, After-Play and more.
Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after providing lighting design for Elf, Grease, The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Full Monty, Meet Me in St. Louis and Hello, Dolly! Morrison worked on national and international tours of Hello, Dolly!, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miss Saigon, Aida, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Who’s Tommy. Morrison received two Helen Hayes Awards for outstanding lighting design and has been nominated seven times.
David C. Woolard (Costume Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after designing costumes for Happy Days and On the Town. Mr. Woolard designed costumes for Broadway shows including BronxBombers, West Side Story, Damn Yankees and more.
Kelly Tighe (Scenic Coordinator) worked on off-Broadway and touring productions of The Great Divorce, The Fantasticks, Almost Heaven, Movin’ Out, Shear Madness and Cats.
Dana Burkart (Costume Coordinator) worked as an assistant costume designer on the Broadway productions of Aladdin and Kinky Boots.
Randy Hansen (Sound Design) is Paper Mill Playhouse’s resident sound designer and has designed sound for more than 130 musicals and 40 plays. Many memorable moments include working with opera star Jessye Norman, the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mr. Hansen was the president of Audible Difference Inc., a sound design company that over the past 30 years has served the fashion industry in New York and Paris.
Amanda Miller (Hair, Wig & Makeup Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after designing the hair and wigs for The Other Josh Cohen. On Broadway, Ms. Miller worked on Roundabout Theater Company’s Old Times and Cyrano de Bergerac.
Telsey + Company (Casting) is an award-winning organization of casting professionals in New York City with local, regional, national and international clientele including Broadway and touring companies of Hamilton, The King and I, Tuck Everlasting, Kinky Boots, Finding Neverland, The Color Purple and Wicked. The lead casting director on this project is Cesar A. Rocha, CSA.
The Production Stage Manager is Andrea Cibelli.
Free Audience Enrichment Activities for West Side Story
Wed. June 1 6:30pm Art Gallery The Director’s Viewpoint
Enjoy coffee on us as West Side Story director and Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee talks about his involvement with the musical.
Thurs. June 2 6:30pm Mezzanine Conversation Club
Thurs. June 9 Learn more about the show you are about
Thurs. June 16 to see, led by members of Paper Mill’s
Thurs. June 23 Artistic and Education Departments.
Sat. June 25 Following Matinee Orchestra Q&A with the Cast
Meet the cast and ask actors questions about the show or the role they are portraying.
Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for West Side Story on Saturday, June 25, 2016, and Sunday, June 26, 2016, at 1:30 pm. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, June 26, 2016, at 7:00 pm.
PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.