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West Side Story Revival Will Not Reopen on Broadway

The production was directed by Ivo van Hove.

A scene from Ivo van Hove's production of West Side Story at the Broadway Theatre.
(© Jan Versweyveld)

Ivo van Hove's Broadway revival of West Side Story has announced that it will not reopen at the Broadway Theatre.

Producer Kate Horton said in a statement, "It is with great regret that we are announcing today that the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story will not reopen. This difficult and painful decision comes after we have explored every possible path to a successful run, and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, reopening is not a practical proposition. We thank all the brilliant, creative artists who brought West Side Story to life at the Broadway Theatre, even for so brief a time, especially the extraordinary acting company, 33 of whom made their Broadway debuts in this production."

Directed by Tony winner Ivo van Hove, this divisive production edited the show's running time to under two hours, featured all-new choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and was subject to protests for the casting of performer Amar Ramasar, who had been fired by New York City Ballet for allegedly sending explicit photos of female dancers to colleagues, as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. (An arbitrator later ordered the Ballet to reinstate Ramasar when his union challenged the dismissal.) The musical, originally produced by Scott Rudin, was also the subject of much backstage intrigue, as actors were injured and choreographic duties allegedly changed hands, though ticket sales were very strong pre-pandemic.

Created by Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story is based on a conception by Jerome Robbins, who directed and choreographed the original production. The production has scenery and lighting design by van Hove's longtime collaborator, five-time Tony Award nominee Jan Versweyveld, with costume design by An d'Huys, sound design by Tom Gibbons, video design by Luke Halls, and orchestrations by Tony and Academy Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Alexander Gemignani served as music supervisor and musical director.

West Side Story starred Shereen Pimentel as Maria, Isaac Powell as Tony, Yesenia Ayala as Anita, Amar Ramasar as Bernardo, Dharon E. Jones as Riff, Ahmad Simmons as Diesel, Danny Wolohan as Officer Krupke, Jacob Guzman as Chino, Kevin Csolak as A-Rab, Matthew Johnson as Baby John, Dharon E. Jones as Action, Zuri Noelle Ford as Anybodys, Daniel Oreskes as Doc, Pippa Pearthree as Glad Hand, Thomas Jay Ryan as Lt. Schrank, and an ensemble including Alexa De Barr, Daniel Ching, Gabi Campo, Gino Cosculluela, Marc Crousillat, Stephanie Crousillat, Roman Cruz, Tyler Eisenreich, Armando Eleazar, Marlon Feliz, Satori Folkes-Stone, Constance François, Carlos Gonzalez, Jennifer Gruener, Jarred Manista, Michaela Marfori, Michelle Mercedes, Michael Seltzer, Corey John Snide, Sheldon True, Ricky Ubeda, Madison Vomastek, Tony Ward, Bridget Whitman, and Kevin Zambrano.

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