“West Side Story” is coming to Broadway, and it will do so with the help of Venezuelan performer George Akram.
Akram is cast as Bernardo, the gang member who leads the Sharks. The role was played by George Chakiris (pictured at right, center) in the original 1961 movie.
A very talented singer and dancer, Akram comes from an artistic family. His mother is the choreographer Anita Vivas, and his father, Antonio Drija, was in Cirque du Soleil. Akram’s brother, Victor Drija, is also a famous dancer in Venezuela.
Akram achieved success on the national stage in productions like “Visa para un sueño,” a musical based on the music of Juan Luis Guerra. He moved to the U.S. in 2001 and has since shared the stage with an impressive bunch: salsa singers Celia Cruz and Oscar d’León, pop phenoms Gloria Estefan and Paulina Rubio, and even reggaeton powerhouses Wisin y Yandel and Don Omar.
We look forward to seeing Venezuela represented among the cast of West Side Story in New York starting in March 2009!