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Satisfy the increasing stars of ‘West Side Story’ on Broadway


Satisfy the increasing stars of ‘West Side Story’ on Broadway

NEW YORK — When a new revival of “West Side Story” opens on Broadway, it will make history. The musical sees 33 young people making their Broadway debuts, a record. The show,, loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” chronicles the affair between two lovers caught in a violent gang world not of their…

Satisfy the increasing stars of ‘West Side Story’ on Broadway

New York City–
When a brand-new revival of “West Side Story” opens on Broadway, it will make history. The musical sees 33 youths making their Broadway debuts, a record.

The show,, loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” chronicles the affair in between 2 fans caught in a violent gang world not of their making.

The young diverse cast comes to the Broadway Theatre from everywhere from Cuba to Massachusetts, representing halftime entertainers in the NBA, touring phase veterans and ballet dancers in Los Angeles.

Here are 3 of their stories.


Ilda Mason isn’t simply making her Broadway launching this year. She’s likewise making her function movie launching. Both remain in versions of “West Side Story.”

” It’s ridiculous,” she acknowledges.

The 30- year-old dancer from Panama City, Panama, auditioned for the Broadway musical throughout practice sessions for the Steven Spielberg-directed film version, which opens in December. “Both are totally different versions of the exact same story,” she states.

Mason has had an interesting career up until now. She won the Panamanian variation of “Dancing With the Stars.” She carried out “Lawfully Blonde” in China and toured the country with “On Your Feet!” and “Cinderella.” Now she’s a swing on Broadway, implying she understudies five roles and is prepared to go on in case of health problem or getaway.

” West Side Story” is a repeating style in her life. She’s been in a production at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

” It is necessary and it’s relevant. It’s my story. I’m an immigrant,” she says. “I’m happy to do a show that speaks my truth.”

In the future, she wants to do movie and TELEVISION, drawn by the opportunity to do the impossible onscreen. “I desire to go to area and I want to be with dinosaurs. Essentially, I desire to be in a Steven Spielberg film.”


Working in the Broadway Theatre has an unique meaning for Satori Folkes-Stone, a 23- year-old Los Angeles native. Her mama performed in the very same theater.

In the late 1970 s, her mother, Neisha Folkes, remained in productions of “The Wiz” and “Guys and Dolls” at the exact same venue that her child now goes into eight times a week.

” I remember when I got the program, she resembled, ‘What theater are you in?’ I stated, ‘I don’t know.’ She stated: ‘That ‘d be insane if you were in my theater.’ Of course, she calls it ‘my theater,'” Folkes-Stone states, laughing. “Now it’s my theater.”

Folkes-Stone participated in the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center at the University of Southern California. She taught “Annie” to kids in China and performed in a production of “West Side Story” at school.

She feared the worst when fellow trainees started revealing that they ‘d reserved the Broadway revival of “West Side Story.” She heard nothing all day from her representative and cried in the restroom, believing it was lost. During a break at a late-night wedding rehearsal for a senior job, she examined her phone. Her agent had actually left a message. She had the gig in the end, playing Margarita.

” West Side Story” is why she began dancing. The 1961 movie variation motivated her– the songs, the story, the way everyone danced. “I was like,’ I have actually got to move like that. That’s my design template.’ Now I’m here.”

Broadway for her mommy was simply the start of a long profession in the arts. She went on to be a principal dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and choreographed for movies and TELEVISION. Dancing is in her daughter’s DNA.

” We’re starting to live an extremely parallel life approximately this point,” says her child. “It depends on me to decide where I’m going to deviate or what I’ll do the same.”


Israel Del Rosario remained in a high school history class in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when he got a text from a pal informing him about the local “West Side Story” auditions.

His hand instantly went up. He asked the teacher if he might utilize the restroom. It was a fib.

” I called my mama and she chose me up and 2 hours later I was on the list for the auditions, simply like that,” he says.

Now, at 18, he’s one of the youngest in the cast. He endured 3 rounds of call-backs in Florida, 2 more in New york city that involved 12- hour days and then one big, final one.

” I was fortunate enough to rock that call-back and make it,” Del Rosario says.

His course has taken him from Florida to Tennessee and back once again, studying ballet, theater and hip-hop. He even carried out for three years in front of tens of thousands as part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ junior dance group.

” I came out of the womb being blessed with an athletic but likewise artistic family,” says Del Rosario, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent.

He was first influenced to dance by the show “So You Believe You Can Dance.” A hip-hop and tap routine he saw really moved him. “I wanted to my mama and I stated, ‘I want to do that,'” he says.

Mama discovered him a weekly hip-hop and dance class and quickly he was completing nationally. Later, mother and papa advised ballet training, but he resisted.

” I didn’t wish to be the person doing ballet,” he remembers. “I already had to handle the stereotypes of a person dancing. Now I need to tell individuals I’m in ballet class using tights? I didn’t desire to do that.”

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He and his mother combated about it for a year, however he hesitantly went to ballet class. She would cry in her car whenever she dropped him off.

” Now I’m able to take a look at her and tell her, ‘Oh my gosh, I like you so much for doing that. Thank you so much,'” he states. “I was so fortunate to benefit from that.”

He was extremely delighted to land a role in “West Side Story” however 2 people might have been better– mother and father.

” I believe they were the only 2 individuals more overjoyed about this than I am simply because they were with me every action of the way,” he says.


Mark Kennedy is at

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