“West Side Story” director Steven Spielberg finally found his Maria — on the very far west side of Manhattan. Make that New Jersey.
Rachel Zegler, a 17-year-old high school student from Clifton, beat out 30,000 hopefuls for the coveted role in Spielberg’s remake of the 1961 classic. But unlike the original film’s Maria, Natalie Wood, Zegler will do all her own singing.
And while she submitted a video of herself singing both “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty” — which the Colombian-American sang in Spanish — she’s already played Maria, in an August 2017 production in Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC.
“Baby Driver” star Ansel Elgort was cast several months ago as Tony, Maria’s doomed lover. Rita Moreno, who played Maria’s fiery BFF, Anita, in the 1961 film, has a role in it, too.
“West Side Story” — a heartfelt, New York City-centric updating of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by a 26-year-old Stephen Sondheim — was first performed on Broadway in 1957. It has rarely been off the stage since.
Source: Read Full Article