For the Manila production, Stages has cast Asia's Pop Idol Christian Bautista to play Tony. Stage director Audie Gemora is currently completing the leads in the cast. "This is perhaps the hardest musical to cast because everyone has to be a triple threat, meaning they should be able to act, sing and dance," says Gemora.
"We need young people, especially males who can dance. It seems that today's youth are more into street dancing. Looking for dancers with jazz background is like finding a needle in a haystack. But I believe they are out there. We are calling on professional dance groups, ballet companies and schools, as well as college dance clubs and cheer dancing squads to send their dancers to try out for the musical. We want to find young people who have great dance potential, and train them to execute Jerome Robbins' classic choreography." Gemora adds.
Choreographer James Laforteza has been tasked to whip the cast into form. He has six months to achieve this in time for "West Side Story's" five-week run in September 2008 at the Meralco Theater.
Stages is also inviting fundraising groups and show promoters to buy shows. A performance can give show buyers up to 40 percent return on investment.
For inquiries, call Stages at 8943735 or 8181111 loc 225.
[Photo from the movie version of "West Side Story," original choreography by Jerome Robbins.]