Good February, dear reader! Brace yourselves! Here’s the scoop on Paramount’s West Side Story casting…

Seen in this season’s opener Oklahoma!, lovable Larry Baldacci returns in the role of befuddled social worker “Gladhand.” Chicago heavy weights, actors Joe Dempsey and Joe Foust, take on “Lt. Shrank” and “Officer Krupke” respectively. With them, making his Paramount debut as well, Alan Ball brings his classically trained chops to “Doc.”

Here are “The Jet Girls”… “Pauline” Jillian Endebrock, “Graziella” Allyson Graves, “Velma” Erin Kilmurray, “Clarice” Tiffany Krause and “Minnie” Ashley Elizabeth Smith.

“The Shark Girls” are… “Francisca” Kasey Alfonso, “Teresita” Brittany Amororso, “Consuela” Francesca Arostegui, “Estella” Elena Romanowski and “Rosalia” Adrienne Storrs.

And now the guys, “The Sharks”… “Indio” Alejandro Fonesca, “Luis” Joe Musiel, “Pepe” Jorge Quintero-Troetsch, “Toro” Fernando Rodriguez, “Chino” Anthony Sullivan Jr. and “Juano” Aaron Umsted.

“The Jets” are… “Diesel” Aaron Patrick Craven, “Snowboy” Sam Gardner, “A-Rab” James Lee, “Action” Ryan McBride, “Baby John” Jonny Stein and “Big Deal” Liam Quealy.

More than a tomboy, “Anybodys” is played by terrific Aubrey Adams, returning from her performances in Oklahoma!, Les Miserables and The Who’s Tommy.

This is an ensemble of dancers/singers/actors, formidable as any seen anywhere, led by “Riff” Jeff Smith, “Bernardo” Alex Aquilar and “Anita” Mary Antonini. The three of them joining us from New York City with among them impressive Broadway, national tours and regional credits.

he star-crossed lovers are “Tony” Will Skrip and “Maria” Zoe Nadal, exquisite musically and dramatically, making their professional Chicago area debuts in playing major roles.

Conductor/Musical Director Tom Vendafreddo and Choreographer William Carlos Angulo have been working with a group of dancers from the cast in developmental dance workshops affording us to bring new work to this production and a major debut for Mr. Angulo.

My anticipation for the promise of this collaboration with these young artists, to be realized in the coming weeks of rehearsal, makes me ever grateful for their creative talent and for the support of our audience who will thrall as the beauty of this tragic tale astonishes in Leonard Bernstein’s enduring, incomparable masterpiece, West Side Story.

Love & thanks,


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