Corey Cott and Mikaela Bennett take on the roles of young lovers Tony and Maria in Lyric Opera of Chicago's premiere of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking American musical West Side Story. Cott has starred in numerous Broadway productions, including Bandstand, Gigi, and Newsies the Musical, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical in 2012. Bennett portrayed Maria in the BBC Proms concert presentation of West Side Story at London's Royal Albert Hall. She has also appeared with New York City Center Encores! (The Golden Apple), the new off-Broadway musical Renascence, and Michael Gordon's new opera Acquanetta.
West Side Story, through Bernstein's music, Sondheim's lyrics, Arthur Laurents's book, and Jerome Robbins's bold choreography, transports the story of Romeo and Juliet to the backstreets of NYC. Tony and Maria are teenagers from opposing gangs who fall in love. As their friends and family battle, the two of them long for "a place for us…somewhere." The songs, from the romance of "Maria" and "Tonight" to the exuberance of "America" and the humor of "Gee, Officer Krupke," illuminate every scene.