West Side Story
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Book by Arthur Laurents Music by Leonard Bernstein Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins
SHOW TIMES: Wednesday, July 5th
- Sunday, July 30th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

With book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Leonard Bernstein, and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this classic musical about teen romance from the opposite side of town in 1950’s New York will make you cheer and make you cry.

From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. Arthur Laurents’ book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as one of the best ever written. The world’s greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark Broadway musical that is one of the theatre’s finest accomplishments.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.  Tonight, Tonight won’t be just any night!

Entire Original Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Originally Produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince.
By Arrangement with Roger L. Stevens.

West Side Story is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.  http://www.mtishows.com/

Executive Producer:  Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti.

Additional matinee performances:  Saturday, July 15th at 2pm and Saturday, July 29th at 2pm


Christian Álvarez (Chino) is overjoyed to be rumbling with this incredible cast. Hailing from Queens, NY this is his debut at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Past Credits include Javier at Milagro Theatre Group’s original Spanish production Óye Oyá, A Chorus Line, 21 Chump Street, and Hair. If you like what you see, you can catch him again at Ivoryton’s upcoming production of Saturday Night Fever. Special thanks to Mom and Papi for the endless encouragement and wisdom.


Victor Borjas (Bernardo) is happy to be making his Ivoryton Playhouse debut with such an iconic and beautiful show. He is happy to make a return to the world of WSS, this was actually the first show he ever did professionally.  After taking a long hiatus from performing, Victor is excited to return to the stage in the role of Bernardo.  Other stage credits include:  North American Tour of Miss Saigon (Dance Captain/Swing/Ensemble), The Secret Garden (Fakir), Madison Square Garden Entertainment Teams (Dancer/Cheer Stunting/Singer), Holland America Cruise Lines as a singer/dancer.  Victor is very grateful that he has had the privilege of traveling the world while getting to perform and entertain audiences with his craft.  Thank you to all my friends and family.


Annelise Cepero (Francisca) is thrilled to be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse stage with the amazing cast of West Side Story this summer! You might of seen her as Liat in South Pacific in the summer of 2015. A Native New Yorker, Annelise just recently graduated in May with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. Some of her favorite roles include Narrator in Murder Ballad at the Cardinal Stage Company, Jasmine in Beehive: The 60s Musical at the Arundel Barn Playhouse, and Woman 2 in Songs For A New World at Montclair State University. Many thanks to my family, friends, and loved ones!


Tom Difeo (Indio) started his dance training in Bucks County, PA. After graduating high school he earned his BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts. Tom also holds a certificate in acting from The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. Tom’s professional credits include Holland America Line, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, Depression Chic, and Centrifuge Artistic Collaboration. This is Tom’s first season with Ivoryton.



Hillary Ekwall* (Anybodys) is delighted to be returning to Ivoryton Playhouse, previously seen in Godspell.  National Tours: Cabaret (Rosie/cello/violin), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Ramona Quimby. New York: Angelina Ballerina Holiday(Angelina), Dougie Who.  Favorite Regional: Grease (Patty Simcox) at North Shore Music Theatre, Spelling Bee (Schwarzy) and You’re…Charlie Brown (Sally) at Playhouse on Park, Les Mis (Ens/Eponine u/s) at Arizona B’way and Palace Theatre.  Originally from West Hartford, Hillary is happy to be back home performing in CT for the summer! Special thanks to Doc, Brian, and Roxanne; my “team”, Todd, Mike, Jacqui, and the Playhouse team for the opportunity to tell this important story, and to my family and friends for your constant support, love, and encouragement.


Conor Robert Fallon* (Riff) is proud to be making his debut at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Recently Conor performed at the Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers, FL as Bill Crocker in Anything Goes. Other credits include Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Rapunzel’s Prince from Into the Woods and Freddy in My Fair Lady (The Mac-Haydn Theatre). Conor would like to thank his Mom, Dad, Sean, Cait and Emily for their love and support.



Michael Hotkowski (Officer Krupke) – Michael is very excited to be returning to the summer season at Ivoryton once again! His previous appearances at the Playhouse include I’m Connecticut, Comedy is Hard and The Bells of Dublin Parts 2&3. His other stage and screen work includes: The Speckled Band, Art as Muse, Scenes from the Movies and Brett Cornell. 



Colin Lee (Action) is incredibly excited to be spending his summer at Ivoryton Playhouse and returning to one of his favorite musicals!  Tours: Beauty and the Beast (Swing, Asst. Dance Captain), Guys & Dolls (Angie the Ox). Regional: Footloose (Ren), Oklahoma! (Curly), West Side Story (Action), Grease (Eugene), A Chorus Line (Don), CATS (Tumblebrutus), Mary Poppins (Park Keeper). Many thanks to my ever-patient and supportive family & friends, along with GBM, and everyone at the Playhouse. “There’s a place for us. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there.” IG: dcolinlee


Taylor Lloyd (Minnie) is thrilled to be joining the Ivoryton team for this production of one of her most favorite shows. A New Jersey native, she found her way to New England to pursue her BFA in Music Theatre from The Hartt School. Memorable credits include: #14/The Wolves, Tiger Lily/Peter Pan, Claire/Amour, Velma/WSS. Thanks and love to family and friends for the unwavering support, and to the cast and creative team for the opportunity and experience.



George Lombardo (Doc) considers the Ivoryton Playhouse his second home, having appeared in many plays and musicals here. His debut performance for the Playhouse foundation was in “drag” as the Old Lady in the Shoe in the Christmas musical, Toyland. He last appeared was as Uncle Wes in Footloose. George has performed with many professional and non-professional theaters throughout Connecticut, including The Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, River Rep, and Spirit of Broadway Theatre. He has played such diverse roles as Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Sam Byck in Assassins, Sister Amnesia in Nunsense Amen, Horton the Elephant in Seusical the Musical, and Enoch Snow in Carousel. A classically trained tenor, George has sung with Connecticut Opera, CONCORA, and other professional ensembles and Opera companies.


Joey Lucherini (Luis) Joey is thrilled to make his Ivoryton debut in West Side Story. Previous credits include A Chorus Line (Val), West Side Story (Pepe), Hello, Dolly! (Ensemble), Pasek & Paul’s James and the Giant Peach (Earthworm). BA Pace University. As always, all the love to his friends and family for the constant love and support. IG/ Twitter: joeylucherini




Amanda Lupacchino (Graziella) – is thrilled to be returning to The Ivoryton Playhouse this summer in West Side Story and Saturday Night Fever! Her previous Ivoryton credits include Memphis, All Shook Up, South Pacific and Hairspray. Other favorite theater credits include Angelina Ballerina the Very Merry Holiday Musical (NYC & tour), Annie (national tour), Back to the 80s and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Proud alumni of The New School! Huge thank you to all of my family, friends and everyone at the Ivoryton Playhouse for their continued support! www.amandaleighlupacchino.com


Natalie Madlon (Anita) is so excited to be making her debut with Ivoryton Playhouse!  Her favorite credits include West Side Story (Anita), Aida (Nubian Ensemble), Chicago (Squish), The Producers (Producer Babe), Legally Blonde (Vivenne), and Cabaret (Dance Captain).  Natalie is also an upcoming junior pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University.  She sends thanks to the West Side Story team, to her family and friends for their endless support, and above all her Heavenly Father for his unconditional love.


Rick Malone (Schrank/Glad Hand) Ivoryton Playhouse debut; Equity: John W. Engeman:  1776 (Josiah Bartlett), Miracle on 34th Street (DA Thomas Mara), West Side Story (Officer Krupke), Plaza Suite (u/s Sam Nash/Roy Hubley), South Pacific (Commander Harbison), The Odd Couple (u/s Oscar Madison), Other People’s Money (u/s Lawrence Garfinkle); Majestic Theater: Iris (Monsignor Riley); Playhouse on Park: The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Chas Weaver); Hartford Stage: Our Town with Hal Holbrook (Farmer McCarty); AEA Equity Membership Candidate; Film: Flesh Is Heir To (Chief of Detectives); Katie Fforde 2015: Decision by the Sea (Paul Bleeker); Why Did I Say Yes (Mayor DeBlanco); SAG-AFTRA


Pierre Marais (Baby John) Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Pierre is thrilled to be performing in West Side Story and Saturday Night Fever at Ivoryton this summer. Pierre was most recently seen in Rock of Ages on Norwegian Cruise Lines and in the National Tour of Flashdance the Musical. Favorite theatre credits include: Hanschen (Spring Awakening), Angel (Rent), Warner (Legally Blonde). Film: Young Scorpion King (Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior), Nicolas Archer (The Wake of Death), Stefan (The Legion of Grads). NYFA grad. Thanks to Dave at Daniel Hoff and the incomparable Todd Underwood. Love to my incredible parents. Instagram: @pierre_marais


Arianne Meneses (Consuela) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! She’s blessed to be part of this production of West Side Story.  She is from Los Angeles, CA but moved to New York City to expand her dance education at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and is a proud alumni.  Arianne’s favorite credits are Peter Pan (Tiger Lily), Wizard Of Oz (Featured Ensemble), and Fosse Tribute (Ensemble).  She wants to send out much love to her family and friends for their unending support.  Mambo!



Daniel Miller (Diesel) is excited to be making his Ivoryton Playhouse debut!  Regional: MacbethCymbelineMy Fair Lady (Texas Shakespeare Festival); Mother Courage and Her Children, Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Broken Heart (Quintessence Theatre Group); TarzanDamn YankeesJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Thingamajig Theatre Company). Training: B.F.A. Acting and Directing, Stephen F. Austin State University; European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College (London) and EMTA Lavakunstikool (Tallinn). www.iamdanielmiller.com


Stephen Mir* (Tony) Third time’s a charm! Stephen is so happy to return for the third time to the Ivoryton Playhouse. Past productions have been The Last Romance and Man of La Mancha. Stephen just made his Off-Broadway debut in The Drama Desk Nominated production of Picnic! Recent credits include Balthazar, Romeo and Juliet (Hartford Stage), Lt. Joe Cable, South Pacific (Monomoy Theatre), Anthony, Sweeney Todd (NJPAC). Stephen earned his BFA at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. See you Monday Night at the Gris!



Mia Pinero* (Maria) is beyond thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut in West Side Story! Originally from Racine, Wisconsin, Mia is a recent graduate of Montclair State University with a B.F.A. (Honors) in Musical Theatre. Regional credits include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (Playmakers Repertory Company), and Maria in West Side Story (Broadway Rose Theatre/ The Mac-Haydn Theatre). Educational credits include Lucy Brown (The Three Penny Opera), Woman #1 (Sing for Your Supper), and Hermione (The Winter’s Tale). Endless gratitude to her always supportive and encouraging family! miapinero.com


Alexa Racioppi (Velma) will be entering her senior year at Montclair State University as a double major in BFA Dance and BFA Musical Theatre. Prior Credits include, The Full Monty (Vicky), West Side Story (Velma, Anita US), Aida, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, 42nd Street. Alexa has studied with Manhattan Youth Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.




Jason Daniel Rath* (Pepe) Jason is excited to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse, where last summer he appeared in Chicago as Fred Casely. His most recent credits include: Gypsy at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Funny Girl! at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. He is a graduate from Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. Jason hails from the DC metropolitan area, but now lives in Harlem. Huge thanks to Meg Pantera the Agency, my family, and the incredible team behind this production. 



Carolina Santos Read* (Rosalia) Carolina graduated with a BFA in dance and BA in Political Science from Fordham University with Alvin Ailey and has performed with the Eastern CT Ballet, Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico’s ensemble in New York and flamenco solos in festivals. She was in the musicals Chicago (June/ensemble, dance captain), South Pacific (assoc choreographer/ dance captain/ ensemble), Evita (tango dancer/dance captain), The Producers (ensemble), Home for the Holidays (Sarah) 50 Shades! The Musical Parody tour and Off Broadway (original cast Inner Goddess/swing), Moctezuma Off Broadway (Quetzacoatl, Teotlalco), and Giffords Circus Yasmine! A Musical UK tour (dancer/asst. choreographer). TV/Film credits include Friends With Kids, The Reflection, Beautiful Girls, Gossip Girl, and Pan Am. Carolina has commercial, music video, and modeling experience. For more please visit www.CarolinaSantosRead.com  @L1naballer1na


Max Weinstein (A-Rab) is thrilled to make his Ivoryton debut! Recent credits include A Chorus Line (Greg) at Playhouse on Park, as well as Lippa’s The Wild Party (Oscar D’Armano), and Danny and the Rocket (new musical) both at NYU Tisch where Max is a rising senior pursuing a BFA in Drama. West Hartford, CT native. Love and thanks to his supportive family, friends, and the Ivoryton creative team. @maxjacobweinstein



Director and Choreographer:  Todd Underwood

Musical Director:  Mike Morris

Stage Manager:  Laura Lynne Knowles*

Assistant Stage Manager:  Megan Wilcox

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Liz Cippolina

* member of Actors Equity

Join us for an opening night reception following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, July 7th. Light refreshments will be served.


Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!


Press Release

Something’s coming, something good!

West Side Story

At the Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, WEST SIDE STORY which opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5th. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour, and garnered 6 Tony nominations.

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; WEST SIDE STORY remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir* returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero* makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina.  Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti.

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

WEST SIDE STORY opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5th  and runs through July 30th, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Members of the press are welcome at any performance after July 6th.  Please call ahead for tickets.



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Did You

Jerome Robbins' proposed the idea for writing a musical based on Romeo and Juliet to Leonard Bernstein in January of 1949 (working title: East Side Story). In August of 1955, a meeting with Arthur Laurents produced another idea -- two teen-age gangs as the warring factions, one of them newly-arrived Puerto Ricans, the other self-styled "Americans." In November, 1955 Stephen Sondheim joined the project as lyricist. A year and a half later, rehearsals began for the Broadway premiere of "West Side Story". The stage version of "West Side Story" opened in previews on August 20, 1957 in Washington D.C. and opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater, September 26, 1957. The film version was released on October 18, 1961.