Dharon E. Jones to take over the role of Riff in West Side Story on Broadway

The musical’s revival, directed by Ivo van Hove, will officially open on February 20, 2020.

Dharon E. Jones

It has been announced that Dharon E. Jones will take over the role of Riff in the Broadway revival of West Side Story at the Broadway Theatre. West Side Story began previews on December 10, 2019, with an official opening night now scheduled for February 20, 2020.

The role of Riff was originated in the new production by Ben Cook, however Cook has departed the production following an on-stage injury during the evening performance on January 5, 2020.

Currently playing the role of Action in West Side Story, Dharon E. Jones will take over the role of Riff. The production also marks his Broadway debut.

The cast of West Side Story, which features an unprecedented total of 32 actors making their Broadway debuts, is completed by Shereen Pimentel (as Maria), Isaac Powell (as Tony), Yesenia Ayala (as Anita), Amar Ramasar (as Bernardo),  Ahmad Simmons (as Diesel), Danny Wolohan (as Officer Krupke), Jacob Guzman (as Chino), Kevin Csolak (as A-Rab), Matthew Johnson (as Baby John), Zuri Noelle Ford (as Anybodys), Daniel Oreskes (as Doc), Pippa Pearthree (as Glad Hand), and Thomas Jay Ryan (as Lt. Schrank).

The ensemble features Alexa De BarrDaniel ChingGabi CampoGino CosculluelaMarc CrousillatStephanie CrousillatRoman CruzTyler EisenreichArmando EleazarMarlon FelizSatori Folkes-StoneConstance FrançoisCarlos GonzalezJennifer GruenerJarred ManistaMichaela MarforiMichelle MercedesMichael SeltzerCorey John SnideSheldon TrueRicky UbedaMadison VomastekTony WardBridget Whitman, and Kevin Zambrano.

Synopsis: "Inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and JulietWest Side Story reimagined the most enduring love story ever written as a contemporary musical complete with form-shattering stagecraft and a score for the ages. Now, more than 60 years later, the legacy of that original production, along with subsequent stagings around the globe and the iconic cinematic adaptation, has cemented West Side Story’s place as one the most significant cultural achievements of the 20th century."

The timeless tuner, which debuted on Broadway in 1957, features music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Bernstein, Sondheim & Arthur Laurents. For the first time ever in the United States, the production will feature all new choreography courtesy of the internationally acclaimed Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. The creative team also features orchestrations by Tony and Academy Award winner Jonathan Tunick, scenic & lighting design by van Hove's longtime collaborator and five-time Tony Award nominee Jan Versweyveld, costume design by An d'Huys, sound design by Tom Gibbons, and video design by Luke Halls. In addition, Alexander Gemignani serves as music supervisor and musical director for the production.

Director Ivo van Hove was last represented on the Great White Way by Network, which ran from December 2018 through June 2019 and earned him a Tony Award nomination for "Best Direction of a Play." He previously won a Tony Award in 2016 for his revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and also helmed a revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible during that same season. He has also worked extensively off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, most recently directing the 2015 production of Lazarus (featuring the songs of David Bowie).

Since its Broadway debut in 1957, West Side Story has been revived four times on Broadway and was last seen at the Palace Theatre from February 2009 through to January 2011.

West Side Story is produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, and David Geffen.

West Side Story Tickets are available now for performances through June 7, 2020.

(Photo courtesy of DKC/O&M)