Arts & Entertainment

Full Cast and Creative Team Announced for West Side Story at Paper Mill Playhouse

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Matt Doyle Credits: mattdoylemusic.com
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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 SanchezWest 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 TonyBelinda 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 JerseyPaper 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. 

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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 MormonWar HorseBye 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 StoryGiant, 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 RoofSouth PacificThe Music Man and more.

Mikey Winslow (Riff) appeared on Broadway in On the TownWest 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 SpectacularMichael 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 FollesThe Music Man and Guys and DollsSpencer 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 SpectacularKevin C. Loomis (Krupke) appeared on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Inherit the WindDean 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 MindsEntourageCSIDesperate HousewivesCurb 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 CamelotWest Side Story and My Fair LadyJack Sippel (A-Rab) performed in the Broadway companies of Newsies and MemphisBrendan 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 DollsYoung FrankensteinGentlemen Prefer Blondes and Gypsy. Mr. Waletzko appeared in touring productions of Kinky Boots and Young FrankensteinCody Williams (Action) was seen on Broadway in On the TownCinderella 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 FinegoldJordan IsadoreIlda MasonKat NejatKevin Michael RaponeyAlexia SkySummerisa 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, DreamgirlsCompany and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. Some of Mr. Hoebee’s directing credits at Paper Mill Playhouse include DreamgirlsHello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh, Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons, Meet Me in St. Louis, The King and IMiss SaigonDisney’s High School MusicalPeter PanSmokey Joe’s CaféDamn YankeesThoroughly Modern Millie, CurtainsThe Full Monty starring Broadway legend Elaine Stritch and Oliver!.

Alex Sanchez (Choreographer) appeared in the original Broadway companies of The Red ShoesCarouselBigFolliesChitty Chitty Bang BangFosse 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 Boys110 in the ShadeDo 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 AwayWest Side StoryGypsy and Swinging on a Star. Some of Mr. Youmans’ work off-Broadway includes Matt and BenHedwig and the Angry InchJeffreySight UnseenAfter-Play and more.

Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after providing lighting design for ElfGreaseThe Little MermaidCurtainsSmokey Joe’s CafeThe Full MontyMeet Me in St. Louis and Hello, Dolly! Morrison worked on national and international tours of Hello, Dolly!Chitty Chitty Bang BangMiss SaigonAidaHow 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 BronxBombersWest Side StoryDamn Yankees and more.

Kelly Tighe (Scenic Coordinator) worked on off-Broadway and touring productions of The Great DivorceThe FantasticksAlmost HeavenMovin’ OutShear 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 HamiltonThe King and ITuck Everlasting, Kinky BootsFinding NeverlandThe 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.   

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