Since news that Steven Spielberg was directing a remake of West Side Story was released last winter, we've been eagerly awaiting any and all updates. Last month, Justin Peck was brought on board as choreographer, joining famed playwright Tony Kushner, who's adapting the script. Peck seemed like the obvious choice; in addition to following in original West Side Story choreographer Jerome Robbins' sneaker-clad footsteps as resident choreographer of New York City Ballet, he recently took home a Tony Award for his work on Carousel.
Last week, it was announced that Ansel Elgort has been cast in the leading role of Tony. Elgort, known for his work in The Fault in Our Stars and Baby Driver, has a background in tap. (His longtime girlfriend Violetta Komyshan, is also a dancer, and has performed with BalletNext.) The rest of the leads haven't been cast yet, though we hope that Peck and his team are scouting from the dance world first.
In the meantime, there's still another chance to audition to be a Shark or a Jet, the rival gangs known for their finger-snapping, high-jumping dancing prowess. 20th Century Fox is holding an open dance call in Miami on Monday, October 29. The audition will be held at Miami City Ballet and is open to Latinx and Caucasian men and women ages 15-25. Dancers should come prepared to learn a phrase and to sing 16 bars of a classical musical theater song. More details can be found here. Dance calls have already been held in New York City, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico earlier this fall. So if you're a Florida-based dancer or can make a last-minute trip, grab your character shoes and your sneakers and head on over to MCB. We'll continue to keep you posted on all things West Side Story as this exciting dance-filled recreation comes together.