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Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ adaptation to include 2 OU musical theater alumni

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Two former OU musical theater students will be featured in a new film adaptation of an iconic musical, according to a press release from the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre.

Eloise Kropp and Ezra Menas, both OU musical theater graduates, will perform in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of “West Side Story,”which begins filming this summer, according to the press release.

Kropp and Menas will be part of the Jet Chorus, according to a press release from the production company.

The movie is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” exploring forbidden love and a rivalry between two street gangs — the Sharks and the Jets — with different ethnic backgrounds. “West Side Story” is based on the landmark 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, according to the Weitzenhoffer press release.

The press release said Kropp has played many key roles in theater productions since leaving OU. She was offered the role of Ruby in the musical “Dames At Sea” on Broadway, played Jennyanydots in the recent Broadway revival of “Cats” and was featured in the revival of “On the Town,” according to the press release.

Most recently, Kropp played Zanetta Shinn in “Music Man” at the Kennedy Center, starring Norm Lewis, Tony-winner Jessie Mueller and Rosie O’Donnell, according to the press release.

Menas will perform in the new Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill” this fall. They were featured in the national tour of “A Chorus Line,” in the new musical “Normativity” at the New York Musical Festival and in several seasons at Musical Theatre Wichita.

“The Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at OU has a long tradition of alumni success,” said Ashton Byrum, school director, in the press release. “The program was recently listed on Broadway World as one of the most represented schools on Broadway." 

This article was updated 9:13 a.m. June 13 to include the information from the production company's press release.

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