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‘West Side Story’ star Ariana Debos is always ready for her next role

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‘West Side Story’ star Ariana Debos is always ready for her next role

Such a lucrative arrival on the New York theater scene is almost unheard of and, knowing that his current wealth of opportunities is scarce, DeBoss is determined to prove himself worthy of him. “I never want someone to look at my work and think, ‘Why does he have that when they could have hired someone else? She says. “I never want to ask myself, ‘Did I do enough?'” It’s not impostor syndrome, she assures me, but a perfectionist impulse—that inspired her, for example, to brush up on her little use. Last year to Apple TV’s music series “Schmigadoon!” for her role as an old-time schoolgirl in Harnessing Skills (2021); While shooting in Vancouver, she used to take Zoom classes and watch YouTube tutorials in her hotel room.

In other ways as well, something about Debos’ career in the 21st century is clear. In addition to being an openly queer woman of Afro Latinx descent, she has bounced from role to role — often with little time to prepare — in a way that mirrors our current gig economy. In the 1960s and ’70s, an artist with his own skill set might have been cast in a single musical and over the years rode the wave of its success, touring with productions around the world and resting on the prestigious association . But DeBos’ ability to move rapidly through roles has garnered its own rewards: She’s earned a Tony nomination and a Chita Rivera Award—both for her most recent Broadway appearance, as a disco donna. In 2006, one of the chiefs in “Summer”—acclaim among others—his dances in that show, as in each of his performances, was the precision and dynamism of a lifelong performing arts child who stopped formal training just before conservative events. given, could overwrite his natural inclination towards wild abandonment. And so she can leave her mark on choreographic work, whether it’s more precisely, as in “Hamilton,” or looser, as in “Bring It On.” She also credits her versatility, her knack for meeting directors and choreographers wherever they are. “Most creators are very intense, and each has their own brand of intensity, their own language,” she explains. “I think one of the reasons I was able to continue to book jobs is that I chose to learn to speak other people’s artistic languages ​​early on.”

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And, even then, she admits she was nervous, understandably, when Spielberg personally told her in “West Side Story” about the cracking peen for the immigrant dual consciousness, the Nuyorican bridal shop leading up to “America”. The employee called to offer the role of Anita. “Not only am I remaking ‘West Side Story,’ but I’m stepping into Rita Moreno’s shoes—and she’s beloved not only by Latinos but by the industry and music enthusiasts as a whole,” DeBoss says. “I really had to find my soul mate.” But Moreno himself—who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita in the 1961 film, and who stars as both executive producer and Valentina, in the new adaptation an updated version of the original’s doc—has hired Debos. He was encouraged to take up the role and introduced himself as a sounding board during production. “I really like the woman she is, and counseling for young women in particular, is beautiful and tough in this industry,” DeBoss says.

Humility aside, Debos says she would love to originate a character, and laments the lack of dance-heavy roles created for new stars, named Charity Hope Valentine (“Sweet Charity”) and Roxy Hart. (“Chicago”). Great. A coiled smile wraps around her coffee cup when I quote Oprah Winfrey’s 2021 interview with Meghan Markle, “Who’s He Conversations?” — namely staging a “Sweet Charity” revival. Dreaming up any artistic project is a game of folly — especially when that project is an as-yet-unplanned Broadway revival of a 1966 production that doesn’t get much lip service these days – but for the idea of ​​Debos hire as the wanderlust dancer who has “so much love to give”, and longs for a brighter future with his two best friends, for the rest of our conversation stops.

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