After receiving rave reviews across the board from critics and audiences alike, Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre’s smash hit production of West Side Story will return to Cape Town at the Artscape Opera House in 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, 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, leader of the Jets gang (Aunty Merle the Musical, Annie, Mamma Mia!) and Sven-Eric Müller 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 Murphy 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.