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10 Actors Who Should Star in the ‘West Side Story’ Revival on Broadway

Category Broadway

|by Marshall W. Mabry IV |


‘There’s a place for’ these actors – in the revival of ‘West Side Story’

Broadway is buzzing with the whispers of what grandiose revival will come next, and the answer is…West Side Story. West Side Story, directed by Ivo Van Hove (Network), will soon open on Broadway again, ten years after its last Tony-nominated revival. With perhaps the greatest love story, and some of the best music, in the musical theater canon, West Side Story has everything it needs to succeed. With Stephen Spielberg’s film remake recently cast – with Ansel Elgot (Baby Driver) as Tony, and Camilia Cabello as Maria – we couldn’t help but wonder about the direction the revival’s producers will take when casting the show’s iconic roles. Will they cast Broadway’s rising stars? Hollywood A-Listers, like Elgort, or pop stars, like Cabello? Maybe even Tony-winning actors? Here are a few actors we think just might be the ticket to what is sure to be the most anticipated revival of next year.

Jeremy Jordan, Arielle Jacobs and Corbin Bleu (Photos courtesy of the actors; Bleu’s headshot by Mark Blackwell)

Jeremy Jordan, Arielle Jacobs and Corbin Bleu (Photos courtesy of the actors; Bleu’s headshot by Mark Blackwell)

10. Jeremy Jordan as Tony
Though he’s already played the role on Broadway as an understudy, Jordan is a Broadway fan favorite. Known for his work as Winn on the CW’s Supergirl and on Broadway as Jack in Newsies, Clyde in Bonnie and Clyde and Officer Paul Larkin in American Son, he has a name and a voice that could sell this show.

9. Anthony Ramos as Bernardo
As everyone’s favorite John Laurens of Hamilton fame – who is soon to appear on the big-screen as Usnavi in the In the Heights movie – Anthony Ramos is a star. Anthony would take this show to the next level, by playing up Bernardo’s relationship with his sister. His flawless voice and likeable nature would make this character’s arc monumental.

8. Rodney Ingram as Tony
Rodney is perhaps the most unknown of this list’s Tonys, and that’s why he’d be perfect for the role. Fresh off playing Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, armed with a pitch-perfect voice and leading man charm, he’d bring Tony to life in a new and exciting way.

7. Arielle Jacobs as Maria
Possessing possibly one of the most underrated voice on Broadway, Arielle Jacobs not only has the talent to sing the role, but also to act it. Currently playing Princess Jasmine in Aladdin, Arielle is overdue for a new lead on Broadway.

 6. Tanairi Sade Vazquez as Anita
When thinking of fierce women that could play this role, and do it justice, only a few crossed my mind. Tanairi is a quiet storm in the Broadway community. With six Broadway shows under her belt – including the last West Side Story revival – Tanairi is ready to take on this historic role in musical theater.

5. Chazz Palminteri as Doc
It’d be a crime to revive this show and not bring back Webster Avenue’s favorite actor, Chazz Palminteri. Last seen on Broadway in A Bronx Tale, a show based on his own life – which was described as West Side Story meets Jersey Boys – Chazz is more than ready. Doc is a guiding light for Tony, and few could portray that better than Chazz.

4. Corbin Bleu as Tony
Starring in Kiss Me, Kate! on Broadway soon, Corbin Bleu would be an interesting choice for Tony. Corbin has been working diligently in theatre for the past decade, I think he’s got what I takes to tackle Tony. He’s got the voice and charm for the role, maybe all he needs is an opportunity.

3. Ariana DeBose as Anita
Another interesting addition to this list is Tony Nominee Ariana Debose, currently starring in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway. She dances like no other, and has a voice to match the talent. She’d deliver a perfect Anita with a voice that could kill, and dance moves that would stop the production all eight shows a week.

2. Mandy Gonzalez as Anita
Known for her powerhouse voice in In the Heights, Wicked and now Hamilton, Mandy Gonzalez has star power. She is one of the strongest presences on Broadway and will remain that way for the rest of her life. Her unmatched stage presence is just what’s needed to fill the shoes of Karen Olivo, Debbie Allen and Chita Rivera.

1. Darren Criss as Tony
This Glee alum and Emmy winner has been looking for his return to Broadway, and we think this is it! Having played Tony in Glee’s West Side Story episode, it’d be the perfect case of foreshadowing. Darren is one of the best actors arguably in the world and his musical talents only enhance his acting. He’s the Tony Broadway deserves.

For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in January 2019

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