WATCH: ‘West Side Story’ American cast performs in Manila

Amanda T. Lago
WATCH: ‘West Side Story’ American cast performs in Manila
Hear the cast in Manila performing 'Maria,' 'Tonight,' and more!

MANILA, Philippines – The American cast of the iconic broadway musical West Side Story is now in town for the show’s Manila season, which kicked off on August 10 and will run until August 27.

The play is inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but given a 1950s New York spin. It tells the story of two warring gangs – the American Jets, and the Puerto Rican Sharks – and the young lovers, Tony and Maria, who get caught in the crossfire. The story is brought to life with music by the legendary Stephen Sondheim. Many songs from the musical, including “Maria,” “Tonight,” and “Somewhere” have transcended the stage to become modern classics. 

The American production in Manila is by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. It follows the 60-year-old play’s original choreography by Jerome Robbins. Ahead of their gala performance on August 11, the principal cast gave a press preview of some of the play’s most well-loved numbers.

In “America,” Keely Bierne delivers an energetic turn as Anita, the sassy girlfriend of Sharks leader Bernardo. In the song, she tries to convince one of her friends that life in their new home, Manhattan, is much better than in their homeland, Puerto Rico.



In “Maria,” Kevin Hack performs as Tony, who, having just met Maria, walks home in a lovestruck daze, singing her name the whole time. 


In “Tonight,” Tony and Maria, played by Jenna Burns, meet secretly at a fire escape and sing about their newfound love.


In “Cool,” Jets leader Riff, played by Lance Hayes, tells his boys to keep their heads cool and hold off from attacking the Sharks on the streets, saving all the anger for their scheduled rumble. 


Lunchbox Theatrical’s production of West Side Story is running at the Theatre at Solaire. Tickets are available through Ticketworld. –

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Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.