NJ high school student cast as Maria in Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ remake
Springsteen. Valli. Latifah.
New Jersey is able to claim plenty of great singers, now we can add one more to our list of people to brag about.
Casting for Steve Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story" has finally been announced, with 17-year-old Rachel Zegler taking the lead role of Maria. Also announced were Broadway alums Ariana DeBose (Summer: The Donna Summers Musical, Hamilton) and David Alvarez (Billy Elliot: The Musical) as Anita and Bernardo, respectively. Lastly, actor Ansel Elgort was cast as Tony.
According to her YouTube page, Zegler works as a wedding singer in her spare time in addition to her stage work. She was one of 30,000 who auditioned for the lead role, submitting videos of herself singing "Tonight" and "Me Siento Hermosa" ("I Feel Pretty").
According to this article from Deadline, this is Zegler's reaction to the casting: “I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast. 'West Side Story' was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”
If you haven't heard her sing, all I can say is "WOW." Check out this video of her singing "On My Own" from "Les Miserables."
I'm not crying... there's just... something in my eye. Here she is singing "A Summer in Ohio" from "The Last Five Years."
What. A. Voice.
With talent like that, I'm sure Zegler will absolutely shine in her leading role and make Jersey proud!
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