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Meet the cast of West Side Story Print E-mail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

westsidestory cast

In a flurry of anticipation and excitement, the much-anticipated cast for the upcoming production of West Side Story has been unveiled, promising to bring the timeless tale of love and conflict to life in a whole new way. Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York City, this iconic musical is renowned for its captivating storyline, unforgettable melodies, and dynamic choreography.

Leading the cast, we have the incredibly talented Hannah Spiteri stepping into the role of the passionate and headstrong Maria. Spiteri has been continuously training in the performing arts and classical ballet since a very young age, and nowadays teaches musical theatre, acting, and contemporary dance. Hannah's professional career in Malta spans a number of different roles in several productions and various genres. With her powerful vocal timbre and undeniable stage presence, she is thrilled to embody the authentic spirit of this graceful character.

Opposite her, the role of Tony will be portrayed by Francesco Nicodeme. Known for his remarkable versatility and emotive performances, Nicodeme is a well-known presence on Astra's stage. Nicodeme is trained at the Urdang Academy, London, in Musical Theatre and Dance. After graduating, Francesco was engaged as Production Vocalist for Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean and for the United Arab Emirates Festival, as well as several musical concerts across the UK, apart from the vast number of performances locally.

Adding depth and complexity to the story are the rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Leading the Jets is the fierce and determined Riff, played by the dynamic Warren Schembri Bonello, a University of Malta graduate who has performed this musical already in Ireland. Meanwhile, at the helm of the Sharks, we have the formidable Bernardo portrayed by the commanding presence of Rafael Pimienta, a Columbian national living in Malta since 2018, known as a remarkable dancer characterised by an abundance of energy.

Bernardo's fiery and passionate girlfriend, Anita, will be portrayed by Jasmine Farrugia, another well-known face to Astra's patrons. Farrugia is known for her versatility and vocal prowess with a unique timbre. In 2018, Jasmine was shortlisted as one of the nominees for Young Artist of the Year (Premju G─žall-Arti) and claimed The People's Choice Award. Her character serves as a maternal figure to Maria and a voice of reason amidst the chaos of the rival gangs. Strong-willed and independent, Anita is fiercely loyal to her friends and family, but also harbours her own desires and aspirations.

Under the artistic direction of Chris Gatt, and musical direction of Mariella Spiteri Cefai, this production of West Side Story is shaping up to be an unforgettable theatrical experience. Francesco Nicodeme is doubling as choreographer.

Mark your calendars for the six performances on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, and 24th March 2024, and prepare yourself to be swept away by the magic of West Side Story as this phenomenal cast takes to the stage to bring this iconic musical to life in a whole new light. Get ready to snap your fingers, tap your toes, and experience the electrifying energy of one of Broadway's most beloved classics!

Tickets can be obtained from teatruastra.org.mt. This production of West Side Story is being produced in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, Malta Arts Council, and MeDirect Bank. The musical is also participating in the Vernal Festival which is supported by the Malta Tourism Authority.