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Steven Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story" is a triumphant return to the musical that inspired countless films, including Grease and Mamma Mia! This movie review will give you all the information you need to know about the remake and its cast, from Ariana DeBose as Anita to David Alvarez as Mike Faist, to Josh Andres Rivera's Josh.
Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story
If the original is a cult classic, then Spielberg's version should be even better. The director's remake does have many of the same elements of the original, including a strong storyline and a lust for color and lens flares. He also invests a considerable amount of power in its cast, and the chemistry between the actors is superb. Yet the remake isn't without faults, either.
Despite the flaws of the original film, Spielberg's remake is an impressive showcase for the talents of his generation. The ties to the composer Stephen Sondheim make it an emotionally-rich film. The re-imagining also emphasizes the importance of cultural identity in the production. The remake also features Hispanic actors who lend authenticity to the film. In short, it's one of the most affecting films of the decade.
Ariana DeBose as Anita
In the original Broadway production, Rita Moreno played the role of Anita. Ariana DeBose will take over that role in the film remake. She says she admired Moreno's dancing and tried to mimic her moves. In the film version, however, DeBose is seen as a more innocent, more lovable Anita.
The role is a challenging one for an actress who was not originally from a Spanish-speaking background. DeBose won an Academy Award nomination for her performance, but has yet to win one. Although she was nominated for an Oscar, she did win a variety of other awards, including best supporting actress. In addition to being a well-rounded actress, DeBose is the second Latina to win an Oscar.
David Alvarez as Mike Faist
David Alvarez as Mike Faist in the classic Broadway musical "West Side Story" is one of the most memorable roles in the history of American musical theater. The actor grew up in a Mexican immigrant family and landed on Broadway at the age of six. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in Dear Evan Hansen and also won the award for Best Actor for his role in Billy Elliot the Musical at a young age.
The film's musical score features Bernstein's iconic score, conducted by Grammy-nominated conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Grammy-winning music supervisor Matt Sullivan will oversee the score. The film's cast includes Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and David Alvarez as Mike Faist. The movie is set in the 1950s New York, where gang wars are raging. Tony, a young Anglo boy fresh out of prison, finds himself under the influence of the Sharks, led by Bernardo (David Alvarez). He meets Maria, a Puerto Rican immigrant whose family is under the control of Bernardo's Sharks gang.
Josh Andres Rivera as Josh
After the acclaimed musical Hamilton, Josh Andres Rivera found fame in the role of Josh in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. Later, he was cast in the Speilberg film. Earlier this year, rumors of a romance between the actor and Jenna Zegler were confirmed. On Valentine's Day, Zegler wrote on Twitter that she loved Josh and shared several photos of the two together.
Born in Puerto Rico, Rivera's career as a stage actor began as a youngster. He had always wanted to sing but didn't experience performing until his teen years. At seventeen, he auditioned for many college productions and decided to attend Ithaca College in New York. Although he was a bit intimidated at first, he eventually won the role and appeared in the production alongside Carolyn Trahan.
Rita Moreno as Rita
A Puerto Rican singer, actress, and dancer, Moreno has worked in several different areas of the entertainment industry, including theater, television, and film. Her career spans seven decades. Here is a look at some of her most memorable roles. As the title character in the West Side Story musical, Rita Moreno plays Rita, an aspiring dancer who wants to be a professional dancer.
Moreno, 90 years old, has been a vocal advocate for equality in Hollywood since her breakout role in the original film. Spielberg has made sure that the cast is as representative of diverse backgrounds as possible in the new film. She is credited with bringing "diversity awareness" to the role, which she helped create. And despite being 90 years old, Moreno's performance in the West Side Story remake is generating Oscar buzz.
Iris Menas as Iris
Iris Menas is a Wichita native who graduated from East High School in 2008. She's performed on Broadway and in a new film based on the classic musical. The director of the school's theatre program, Derrick Gronewold, has also taught her acting. She spent 12 years studying dance at the Kansas Dance Academy. Her performance is a perfect example of how to translate the play for a modern audience.
Despite her non-binary identity, Menas embodies a non-binary character that has a complicated history. She has previously played Odee the Okapi in Madagascar: A Little Wild, Jo in Jagged Little Pill, and Anybodys in the 2021 film West Side Story. More recently, she has been confirmed as the voice of Frankie Stein in the 2022 animated remake of Monster high.
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