Verona Native Cast In Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’

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Adriana Pierce
Adriana Pierce

Hollywood has been buzzing since Steven Spielberg announced that he would be filming a new adaption of “West Side Story”, and the buzz grew even louder when it was revealed that Ansel Elgort, Corey Stoll and Rita Moreno would be in the cast.

But now Verona has its own reason for buzzing: Verona native Adriana Pierce has been cast as one of the Jets dancers.

Pierce, who attended Laning Avenue School and H.B. Whitehorne before going on to The American School of Ballet in New York City, has made a career as dancer, choreographer, performer and instructor. She began her professional dance career at the New York City Ballet and completed seven seasons with Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella and Lourdes Lopez. Most recently, she performed in the ensemble for last year’s Broadway revival of Carousel.

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Some 40 performers have been cast as Jets and Sharks dancers in the new film and Justin Peck, who was the choreographer of Carousel, will be the choreographer for “West Side Story”. The Jets and Sharks dancers are featured in some of the movie’s key numbers, including “Cool,” “America,” “Gee, Officer Krupke,” “Jet Song” and “I Feel Pretty.”

“West Side Story” will begin filming this summer. Elgort, who was the lead in “Baby Driver”, will play Tony. Stoll, who was the substance-impaired Rep. Peter Russo on “House of Cards”, will be Det. Schrank, who tries to keep the peace between the Jets and the Sharks and delivered “West Side Story’s signature monologue. Moreno, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for being Anita in the 1961 film, will be in the re-make as Valentina, a new character who will be the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.

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