West Side Story (1957) is a musical by Arthur Laurents (book), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and Leonard Bernstein (music), conceived by Jerome Robbins and based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.


In contemporary New York City, two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Tony, a former of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks, struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice.

1970 Production

Alexander Theatre: Dates unknown.
Empire Theatre: Dates unknown
Cape Town season: Dates and venue unknown.

Produced by Academy Theatre Productions. Director: Kip Andrews. Choreography: Kip Andrews. Set Design: Anthony Farmer. Stage Manager: Paul Jannsen

Cast: Michael Harrison, Patricia Arnell, Lynton Burnes, Richard Loring, Delia Sainsbury, Keith Galloway and Graham Clarke

Reviews: None filed. Overall Review Score: TBC.

1995/1996 Production

West Side Story 1995 - 1996State Theatre Opera: 27 November 1995 onwards.
Nico Malan Opera House: 25 January 1996 onwards.

Produced by CAPAB and PACT Opera. Director: Alan Johnson, reproducing the original Jerome Robbins staging. Assistant to the Director: Tim  Connell. Assistant Director: Bryan Hill. Musical Director: Graham Scott. Choreography: Alan Johnson, reproducing the original Jerome Robbins choreography. Assistant Choreographer: Bryan Hill. Scenic Designer: Anthony Farmer. Lighting Design: Stan Knight. Costume Designer: Lindy Grindlay.

Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra: Berislav Skenderovic (resident conductor), Ludmila Ignatieva (concert master), Mario Filippi (concert master), Petri Salonen (concert master), Charlotte Morschel (principal first violin), Branko Gmaz (first violin), Denise Schelhase (first violin), Marek Pinski (first violin), Sarolta Szegedi (first violin), Wladislaw Moroz (first violin), Emina Lukin (first violin), Ruben Moncada (co-principal second violin), Roelof Swart (second violin), Juan Sandoval (second violin), Elspeth Schwietering (second violin), Mariëtte Schumann (second violin), Theodore Engel (second violin), Joseph Wodziczko (second violin), Eric Rycroft (principal viola), Elizabeth Rennie (viola), Anna Adamiak (viola), Susanne Huber (viola), Daniel Neal (principal cello), Brian Choveaux (co-principal cello), Christopher Dudela (cello), Arno van Kerkhoff (cello), Marijan Milakovic (cello), Jaroslav Adamiak (cello), Leroy Cowie (double bass), Rainer Strauss (principal flute), Bridget Rennie-Salonen (co-principal flute), Vesna Milakovic (flute), Bridget Rennie-Salonen (principal piccolo), Vesna Milakovic (piccolo), Sergei Burdukov (co-principal oboe), Olga Bourdoukova (oboe/cor anglais), Jimmy Reinders (principal clarinet), Mary-Louise Kraus (co-principal clarinet), Sylvia Stalling (clarinet), Dieter Morschel (principal bassoon), Paul McLaughlin (co-principal bassoon), Werner Eichler (bassoon/contrabassoon), Bill Baker (co-principal horn), Lindsay Mulgrew (horn), Mark Osman (horn), Alistair McDonald (co-principal trumpet), Pierre Schuster (trumpet), Nic Green (principal trombone), Berwyn Roberts (trombone), Albert Engel (principal bass trombone), Joan Pulling (principal tuba), Joan Ward-Neal (principal timpani), Marié Cronjé (percussion), Alastair Cockburn (orchestra director), Leslie McDonald (orchestra manager), Ursula Badminton (secretary-organiser), Machteld Schumann (music librarian), Elsa Berns (assistant music librarian), Slagadien Paulse (orchestra steward), Whaheed Lewis (orchestra steward), Laurence Sale (ad hoc drums), Nic Carter (ad hoc guitar), Omalleagh Rankin (ad hoc reeds), Ron Francchiti (ad hoc reeds), Mo Robinson (ad hoc reeds) and Darryl Walters (ad hoc reeds).

Cast: Edward Baker-Duly (Riff), Robert Finlayson (Tony), Luciano Zuppa (Gee-Tar/Tony Alternate/Tony Understudy), Duncan Royce (Action), Gadi Schor (A-rab), David Bloch (Baby John), Bryan Mynhardt (Snowboy), Timothy Walton (Big Deal/Diesel Understudy/Action Understudy), Kenneth Robinson (Diesel/Riff Understudy), Kirsten Pollachi (Anybody’s), Vanessa Schneider (Graziella/Anybody’s Understudy), Dionne Lochner (Velma), Fiona Morrison-Zerle (Minnie), Liezel van der Merwe (Clarice), Joseph Clark (Bernardo/Dance Captain), Juanita Kruger (Maria), Natalie Lotkin (Maria Alternate/Maria Understudy/Rosalia), Samantha Peo (Anita), Deon Bisschoff (Chino), Somizi Mhlongo (Indio), Damyan Robinson (Anxious), Patrick Peterson (Luis), Lindani Nkosi (Nibbles), Darryl Evans (Toro/Chino Understudy), Raymond Theart (Pepe/Gladhand Understudy), Lynsey Shmukler (Alternate Rosalia/Consuela), Amor Vittone (Alternate Consuela/Teresita), Leslie-Ann Mitchel (Estella) and Gina Shmukler (Francisca), Dale Cutts (Schrank), Neville Thomas (Officer Krupke), Peter Holden (Gladhand/Doc Understudy/Officer Krupke Understudy/Shrank Understudy) and Charles Stodel (Doc), Selva Hannam (Girl Swing/Dance Captain) and Craig Long (Jet Boys Swing).

1996 Replacements: Joseph Clark (Riff/Bernardo Understudy), Clarice (Candice Calder/Graziella Understudy), Ross Preller (Bernardo), Vanessa Skaer (Francisca/Anita Understudy), Rick Everett (Doc).

Reviews: Cape Argus (unavailable online), Cape Times (unavailable online). Overall Review Score: 88.

2013 Production

The Playhouse Company Opera Theatre: 22 November – 29 December.

Produced by The Playhouse Company. Director: Ralph Lawson.

Reviews: None filed. Overall Review Score: TBC.

2015-2018 Production

West Side Story 2015-2018Artscape Opera House: 23 July – 23 August 2015.
Joburg Theatre’s Mandela Theatre: 24 January – 5 March 2017.
Artscape Opera House: 7 March – 22 April 2018.

Produced by Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre. Co-producer: Daniel Galloway. Associate Producers: Lamees Albertus and Greg Karvellas. Director: Matthew Wild. Resident Director/Company Manager: Shelley Adriaanzen. Musical Director: Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. Assistant Musical Director: Marga Sander. Choreography by Louisa Talbot. Fight Choreographer: Richard Lothian. Dialect Coaches: Vicki Bawcombe and Adrian Galley.

Set Design: Conor Murphy, based on an original concept by Johan Engels. Set Construction: Gerhard Morkel and Carl Gersbach, for CHC Engineering. Scenic Painter: Nadine Minnaar, for Scene Visual Production, Ash Zamisa, Eloise Millward, Alan Millward and Ronmari van Tonder. Costume Design: Birrie le Roux. Costumier: Kobus O’ Callaghan. Wardrobe: Charles Beni and Bayson Moreni. Lighting Design: Joshua Cutts. Sound Design: Mark Malherbe, for Prosound. Sound Supplier: Eastern Acoustics. Technical Director: Alistair Kilbee, for Gearhouse Splitbeam.

Technical Director: Alistair Kilbee, for Gearhouse Splitbeam. Production Manager: Roberto Grové. Artscape Production Manager: Ricardo Abrahams. Technical Manager: Benjamin du Plessis. Artscape Technical Stage Manager: Amien Griebelaar. Stage Manager: Juanita van Wyk. Deputy Stage Manager: Chané Rinquest. Assistant Stage Managers: Shayna Gleave, Adriaan Louw, Kate Upsher and Enrico Cloete. Head of Wardrobe: Jorge Brandao. Dressers: Nadia Savage, Jennifer Williams, Roxy Lombard and Dewald Coetzee. Sound Operator: Cara Dowling. Sound Systems Technician: David Classen. Mic Technicians: David Clark and Melissa George. Sound Supplier: Eastern Acoustics. Artscape Sound Technician: Riaan Williams. Rigging: Wikus Visser, for Gearhouse SA. Lighting Operator: Franklyn Steyn. Stage LX: Roy Hoffman. Follow Spot Operators: Sidney Savage and Nithaam van der Poel. Mechanist: Reuben Thomas. Junior Mechanist: Gcobani Zatu. Production Assistant and Maintenance: Koos Marais. Production Assistant: Christopher McArthur. Technical Crew: Clynt Hlubi, Achmat Khroodien, Mzukisi Nkantini, Duryn Wildeman, Amos Ndumile and Allan Petersen. Production Photography: Jesse Kramer, Susan Crichton-Stuart, Loucas Polydorou and Daniel Manners. Publicity: Allison Foat, for DIVA PR.

Conductor: Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. Assistant Conductor/First Keys: Marga Sander. Synthesizer/Second Keys: Matthew Foster. Drums: Rob Ogilvie. Alto Sax/B-flat Clarinet/Flute: Kim Raad. Alto Sax/B-flat Clarinet/E-flat Clarinet: Evan Froud. Clarinet: Justin Bellairs. Bass Clarinet/Clarinet/Baritone Sax: Justin Carter. Guitar: Robert Jeffery. Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra: Patrick Goodwin (associate concertmaster and first violin), Emina Lukin (principal first violin), Philip Martens (first violin), Sarolta Szegedi (first violin), Miroslawa Domagala (second violin), Tomasz Kita (sub principal second violin), Colette Niemand (second violin), Maretha Uys (second violin), Michéle Williams (principal second violin), Eugénie Bahlsen (third violin), Petra Hofmeyr (third violin), Annien Shaw (third violin), Renée van der Westhuizen (third violin), Kristiyan Chernev (principal cello), Edward McLean (sub-principal cello), Dorette Roos (cello), Babette Roosenschoon (cello), Christian de Haan (principal double bass),  Donat Pellei (double bass), Gabriele von Dürckheim (principal flute), Bridget Wilson (sub-principal flute), Simon Ball (associate principal bassoon), Brandon Phillips (principal bassoon), Lindsay Mulgrew (sub-principal horn), Caroline van Renen (principal horn), Paul Chandler(trumpet), Pierre Schuster (sub-principal trumpet), David Thompson (principal trumpet), Slavomir Mrazik (principal trombone), Ryan van der Rheede (trombone), Eugene Trofimczyk (principal percussion) and Christoph Müller (principal percussion).

Cast: Lynelle Kenned (Maria), Filipa van Eck (Maria Alternate/A Voice Cover), Christopher Jaftha (Bernardo), Bianca le Grange (Anita), Jonathan Roxmouth (Tony), Buys (Action/Tony Alternate), Stephen Jubber (Riff), Michèle la Trobe (Graziella), Daniel Richards (Chino/Bernardo Understudy), Carlo McFarlane (Pepe/Chino Understudy), Kirsten Rossiter (Rosalia/Anita Understudy), Chloe Perling (Consuela), Sven-Eric Müller (Diesel/Male Dance Captain), Delray Halgryn (Velma), Matthew Berry (Baby John), Jenna Robinson-Child (Minnie/Female Dance Captain),  Brandon Lindsay (Big Deal/Action Alternate), Michael Wallace (A-rab), Claire Taylor (Pauline), Cameron Botha (Snowboy/A-rab Understudy), Anglea Inglis (Anybody’s), Sarah-Ann van der Merwe (Francisca), Natasha Hess (Estella/Rosalia Understudy/A Voice), Sonwa Sakuba (Indio), Thami Njoko (Luis), Lee Piedt (Teresita), Rory Jason Marais (Toro), Sabela Radebe (Nibbles), Adrian Galley (Doc), Nicky Rebelo (Shrank/Glad Hand), Richard Lothian (Officer Krupke), Keaton Ditchfield (Onstage Male Swing), Dominique Maher (Onstage Female Swing), Oleksii Ishchenko (Onstage Male Dance Swing), Nurit Graaf (Onstage Female Dance Swing),

2017 Replacements: Grant Almirall (Action), Clive Gilson (Big Deal), LJ Neilson (Anybody’s), Elzanne Crause (Velma), Kristin Wilson (Graziella), Tamryn van Houten (Minnie), Caitlin Clerk (Pauline), Brendan Murray (Officer Krupke), Craig Urbani (Schrank/Glad Hand), Zolani Shangase (Chino), Duane Williams (Indio) Thami Njoko (Toro), Ipeleng Merafe (Teresita), Sibusiso Mxosana (Swing) and Gemma Trehearn (Swing).

2018 Replacements: Lighting Design: Tim Mitchell. Junior Associate Producer: Georgia Lahusen. Resident Choreographer and Male Dance Captain: Grant van Ster. Dialect Coaches: Emily Child and Robyn Scott. Costumiers: David Stassen, Khayakazi Njaju and Eugene Titus. Hand Finisher: Washiela Adams and Farieda Jack. Lighting Programmer: Benjamin du Plessis. Technical Stage Manager: Shayna Gleave. Deputy Stage Manager: Morag Tison. Assistant Stage Manager: Shawn Crow and Buntu Jobela. Assistant Technical Stage Manager: Clarence Caesar. Head of Wardrobe: Widaad Albertus. Dressers: Nazrine Geyer, Frances Moerdyk, Carmen Abrahams and Beura Jacobs. Mic Technician: Charmian Thompson. Rigging: Gary Bresler and Jan Basson. Follow Spot Operators: Ikraam Felix and Nithaam van der Poel. Flymen: Reuben Thomas and Zatu Gcobani. Seamstresses: Grizelle Scott, Annastacia Jacobs, Basson Moreni and Charles Beni. Production Assistant: Kieran McGregor. Technical Crew: Angelo Alvano, Grant Carelse, Andile Tsheqane, Denvile Hoogbaard and Chris Pharo. Airbrush Tattoo Artist: Jerome Etiennette. Copy Editor: Christine Skinner. Drums: Jarryd West. Reed 1: Justin Bellairs. Reed 2: Danel Dippenaar. Reed 3: James Green. Reed 4: William Hendricks. Cape Philharmonic Orchestra: Eugénie Bahlsen (first violin), Reneé van der Westhuizen (second violin), Maretha Uys (third violin), Milena Toma (third violin), Miroslawa Domagala (third violin), Dane Coetzee (cello), Graham du Plessis (cello), Zanelle Britz (double bass), Louisa Theart (flute), Gene Kierman (horn) and Christin Röhl (trumpet). Cast: Kevin Hack (Tony), Logan Timbre (Action), Jenna Robinson-Child (Velma), Michael Fullard (Baby John), Gemma Trehearn (Minnie), Benton-Steele Botes (Big Deal/Snowboy Understudy), Jonathan Raath (A-rab/Diesel Understudy), Brittané van Loggerenberg (Pauline), Cameron Botha (Action Understudy/Riff Understudy), Lee van der Merwe (Anybody’s), Daniel Mpilo Richards (Bernardo), Clint Lesch (Chino), Shaun Oelf (Pepe), Sarah-Ann van der Merwe (A Voice/Rosalia Understudy), Kirsty Ndawo (Estella), Duane Williams (Indio/Chino Understudy/Pepe Understudy), Lesego van Niekerk (Teresita), Tevin Wiener (Toro), Julio Jantjies (Nibbles), Ernestine Stuurman (Maria Cover/A Voice Cover), James Borthwick (Doc), Richard Lothian (Officer Krupke) Nurit Graff (Second Anita Understudy), Claire Boswell (Female Swing), Hardy Keevé (Male Swing/Bruja), Justin Swartz (Male Swing).

Reviews: Artslink (Jennifer de Klerk), Artslink (Peter Feldman)Becoming You, BizCommunityBroadwayWorld, Call Off the Search (2015), Call Off the Search (2018 – reprinted in The Daily Maverick , Cape ArgusCape ChameleonCape TimesCity Press, The Daily MaverickDamsel in a Dress, LitNetLucy Sarah, The Next 48 HourspARTicipate, Stage and ScreenThe Star Tonight, Theatre Scene Cape TownWhat’s On in Joburg. Overall Review Score: 97.

Something missing? Want to add or correct information? Please email the South African Musical Theatre Archive with the details, using the contact details at the top of the page.

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