Following its success four years ago, the international sell out hit West Side Story is headed for Liverpool in September and is the Palace Theatre's Christmas production, as part of its national tour that follows a season at Sadler's Wells in London.
Leading the cast is Katie Hall as Maria and Louis Maskell as her star-crossed lover Tony. Katie has most recently played Christine in the national tour of Phantom of the Opera and Cosette in Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre in the West End, while Louis has previously appeared in the national tour of Scrooge -The Musical.
Djalenga Scott has previouslystarred in Chicago, Flashdance and The Rocky Horror Show and plays the pivotal role of Anita.
The show previously sold out in cities around the world, including Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid, and Beijing. This production was last seen in the UK in 2008/9 when it also sold out for a season at Sadler's Wells and played to capacity houses throughout a year long UK tour.
West Side Story changed the course of musical theatre when it opened on Broadway in 1957 and it still remains one of the most successful stage shows of all time. The 1961 film version won ten Academy Awards. Based on Romeo and Juliet, the show is set on Manhattan's Upper West Side and explores the rivalry between two teenage gangs; one white, the other Puerto Rican. When Tony falls in love with Maria, the sister of the rival gang's leader, the feud takes on a new dimension, and as their love blossoms so begins a fatal journey overshadowed by violence and hatred.
The score includes the unforgettable songs "Maria", "Tonight", "Somewhere", "America" and "I Feel Pretty". West Side Story originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, has a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein with Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
West Side Story is at the Liverpool Empire from 24 - 28 September and Manchester's Palace Theatre from 10 December - 4 January.