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Wednesday, January 16

More casting news for Spielbergs West Side Story movie

Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s new  film adaptation of West Side Story has found its Sharks in some familiar stage names. Ariana DeBose, who earned a Tony nomination as Donna Summer in Summer on Broadway will play Anita, while Billy Elliot Tony winner David Alvarez and Hamilton tour alum josh AndrĂ©s Rivera will take on the roles of Bernardo and Chino.

According to Deadline 17-year-old newcomer Rachel Zegler from New Jersey, will  take on the coveted role of Maria following a nationwide search covering more than 30K actors.. She will star opposite the previously reported Ansel Elgort as Tony.

The cast will also include Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita in the 1962 film based on the classic musical. The stage and screen legend is set to play Valentina,  a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.

The film is expected to begin filming this summer and will feature choreography by Justin Peck.

Director Spielberg and casting director Cindy Tolan set out to find a cast that included members of both the Puerto Rican and larger Latinx communities (DeBose and Rivera have Puerto Rican backgrounds; Alvarez and Zegler are Cuban- and Colombian-American, respectively). Spielberg said:  I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community-

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