West Side Story Kicks Off Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s 28th Season

West Side Story Kicks Off Orlando Shakespeare Theater's 28th Season

Orlando Shakespeare Theater, in partnership with UCF, kicks off its 28th season with the internationally acclaimed American musical, West Side Story, from September 7 – October 9, 2016

West Side Story, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, tells the epic love story of idealistic young lovers Maria and Tony as they find themselves caught between rival street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks.

Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time. West Side Story’s legendary jazz, Latin, and classical-inspired score features the treasured songs “Maria,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “America.”


Featuring a talented mix of international theater players, along with Central Florida favorites, the cast includes Marc Koeck as Tony, Carly Evans as Maria, Karli Dinardo as Anita, Drew Foster as Riff, Marco Antonio Santiago as Bernardo, Julian Alvarez as Chino, Jordan Bell as Action, and Mark Ferrera as Doc.

The West Side Story ensemble also includes Duncan Bahr, Emma Clark, Eric Eichenlaub, Ellis Endsley, Melanie Farber, Maxel Garcia, Kody Grassett, Bryan Manley, Laura Mansoori, Alejandra Martinez, Daniel Martinez, Kelsey Morales, Jandrea Novak, Tara Osborne, Catie Pires-Fernandes, Tony Pracek, Tyler Schank, Trevor Starr, Gabrielle Toledo, Ansley Van Epps, Salvatore Vieira, and Lindsey Wells.

Directed by Jim Helsinger, the production’s artistic team features Musical Director Steve MacKinnon, Choreographer Anthony Raimondi, Set Designer Jim Hunter, Lighting Designer Bert Scott, Sound Designer Craig Beyrooti, Costume Designer Denise Warner, and Audio Engineer Britt Sandusky.

“After our wildly successful runs of Les Misérables and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, we’re thrilled to continue our tradition of bringing award-winning Broadway musicals to Central Florida with our production of West Side Story,” said Orlando Shakes Director Jim Helsinger. “This classic American musical, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is a lot more than a spectacular stage production. With themes of ethnic prejudice, taboo romantic relationships, and gang related violence, West Side Story is just as relevant in today’s society as it was when it first made its debut on Broadway 59 years ago.”


Tickets for Preview performances on September 7 & 8 are $18 – $33, as are Senior Matinees on Sept 14, 21,, 28, and October 5 at 2pm.

All other performances are $35 – $65. Shows are Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.

Patrons under 35 years old can purchase $25 tickets for evening and weekend matinee performances during the third week of the production with code word: 25UNDER35

Opening date is September 9, and will feature a complimentary Opening Night Party and Pre-Show Chat for all ticket holders.

Tickets to West Side Story are available now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, visiting orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

[Photo courtesy Orlando Shakes/Luke Evans photographer]

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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