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West Side Story – Opening Night 2020 The After Party

West Side Story – Opening Night 2020 The After Party

Shereen Pimintel, Isaac Powell Photo by Brian Hester

The much-anticipated Broadway revival of West Side Story opened this past Thursday evening with much fanfare and the usual batch of celebrities walking the Red Carpet prior to the curtain rising. Stars such as Alex Baldwin and Vanessa Hudgens came out to welcome this production to Broadway. I was unable to make it to the pre-show Red Carpet due to a previous commitment. Had I been able to make it I would have included some photos of the protestors outside the theatre. Click here to view pre-show Red Carpet photos. There were also protestors carrying signs and chanting, demanding the removal of one of the lead actors in this productions, Amar Ramasar, for his involvement in a scandal that occurred a few years back at The New York City Ballet. All one need do is Google “Amar Ramasar” for many sides to this issue. He was terminated by The New York City Ballet, then they were forced to reinstate him by a mediator. This entire scandal has delayed my personal coverage of this opening night. I felt trapped in a quandary; publicize a production involving a person involved in a sexual harassment / photo sharing scandal versus providing proper and timely coverage for ALL the other actors and creatives involved in this production.

Isaac Powell Photo by Brian Hester
Lorna Courtney, Marlon Feliz, Ilda Mason, Satori Folkes-Stone, Yesenia Ayala, Gabi Campo, Mia Pinero, Yesy Garcia Photo by Brian Hester
Michelle Mercedes , Jennifer Gruener, Alexa De Barr, Michaela Marfori, Bridget Whitman, Ui-Seng Francois Photo by Brian Hester

The issues of due process are much larger than the matter of this protest. While it must be clearly understood that there is no room for sexual harassment in our society nor in our workplaces, I must ask, are we living in an age where simply being accused equals being guilty? Scott Rudin, who has stood firmly behind Ramasar. In a 60 Minutes special which aired last week, Rudin called Ramasar’s decision to share the photos “really stupid” but defended his role in the production: “Am I supposed to replace him in the show? I’m not gonna do that.”. “really stupid” ??? Ya Think?

Gus Reed, Elijah A Carter, Kevin Csolak, Tyler Eisenreich, Ahmad Simmons, Jordan Dobson, Corey John Snide, Jarred Manista, Isaac Powell, Dharon E. Jones, Matthew Johnson, Zuri Noelle Ford, Emilio Ramos, Michael Seltzer, Daniel Ching Photo by Brian Hester
Adolfo Mena Cejas, Roman Cruz, Carlos E. Gonzalez, Amar Ramasar, Israel Del Rosario, Carlos A. Jimenez, Kevin Zambrano, Ricky Ubeda,Sheldon True, Jacob Guzman Kevin Zambrano Photo by Brian Hester

I have decided that I my coverage will focus on the remaining 50 plus actors, 33 that made their Broadway debuts with this show. I don’t normally have the room nor the time to feature photos of all actors and understudies in a production. Especially with a cast this large. In this case, I feel it is not only proper, but required due to the circumstances. I am choosing to highlight the entire cast, not just the one that may have made “really stupid” decisions. They also worked hard and fought for their place in the spotlight.

Marissa Brown Photo by Brian Hester
Daniel Oreskes Photo by Brian Hester
Jarred Manista Photo by Brian Hester
Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Jordan Dobson Photo by Brian Hester
Carlos A. Jimenez Photo by Brian Hester
Kevin Csolak Photo by Brian Hester
Ahmad Simmons Photo by Brian Hester
Lorna Courtney Photo by Brian Hester
Carlos E. Gonzalez Photo by Brian Hester
Daniel Ching Photo by Brian Hester
Satori Folkes-Stone Photo by Brian Hester
Yesy Garcia Photo by Brian Hester
Michaela Marfori Photo by Brian Hester
Ui-Seng Francois Photo by Brian Hester
Jennifer Gruener Photo by Brian Hester
Roman Cruz Photo by Brian Hester
Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester
Andrew Sotomayor Photo by Brian Hester
Andrew Sotomayor & Michael Clifton Photo by Brian Hester
Corey John Snide Photo by Brian Hester
Elijah A Carter Photo by Brian Hester
Shereen Pimintel Photo by Brian Hester
Alexa De Barr Photo by Brian Hester
Gabi Campo Photo by Brian Hester
Gabi Campo Photo by Brian Hester
Gabi Campo Photo by Brian Hester
Matthew Johnson Photo by Brian Hester
Matthew Johnson Photo by Brian Hester
Yesenia Ayala Photo by Brian Hester
Marlon Feliz Photo by Brian Hester
Zuri Noelle Ford Photo by Brian Hester
Marlon Feliz Photo by Brian Hester
Satori Folkes-Stone, Zuri Noelle Ford, Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester

While my editor may be unhappy with my delayed coverage, I felt I needed to cover this opening properly and needed the time to consider how that coverage should look. I hope that I have presented both sides to this ugly scandal in a fair and just manner. Many news outlets have covered this story. There are more than enough articles online and in various other media outlets to allow the public to make their own decisions about whether to support the hiring of this actor with their wallets and at the box office. To the 30 or more actors that made their Broadway debuts as well as all the other members of this production I salute your talent, dedication and years of hard work that has brought you to this place in life. Welcome to Broadway and best wishes for long and successful careers.

Thomas Jay Ryan Photo by Brian Hester
Choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker Photo by Brian Hester
Danny Wolohan Photo by Brian Hester
Ricky Ubeda Photo by Brian Hester
Kevin Zambrano Photo by Brian Hester
Marc Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Tyler Eisenreich Photo by Brian Hester
Jordan Dobson Photo by Brian Hester
Marc Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Paul Morland Photo by Brian Hester
Paul Morland, Stephanie Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Stephanie Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Photo by Brian Hester
Paul Morland Photo by Brian Hester
Pinero Photo by Brian Hester
Michael Selzer Photo by Brian Hester
Paul Morland Photo by Brian Hester
Pinero Photo by Brian Hester
Pinero Photo by Brian Hester
Michael Selzer , Pinero Photo by Brian Hester
Photo by Brian Hester
Stephanie Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Stephanie Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Stephanie Crousillat Photo by Brian Hester
Jarred Manista, Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Jarred Manista Photo by Brian Hester
Gus Reed Photo by Brian Hester
Photo by Brian Hester
Adolfo Mena Cejas Photo by Brian Hester
Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Bridget Whitman Photo by Brian Hester
Jacob Guzman Photo by Brian Hester
Emilio Ramos Photo by Brian Hester
Emilio Ramos Photo by Brian Hester
Emilio Ramos Photo by Brian Hester
Ahmad Simmons Photo by Brian Hester
Sheldon True Photo by Brian Hester
Israel Del Rosario Photo by Brian Hester
Israel Del Rosario Photo by Brian Hester
Lorna Courtney Photo by Brian Hester
Dharon E. Jones Photo by Brian Hester
Daniel Ching Photo by Brian Hester
Carlos E. Gonzalez Photo by Brian Hester
Photo by Brian Hester
Yesy Garcia Photo by Brian Hester
Satori Folkes-Stone Photo by Brian Hester
Ilda Mason Photo by Brian Hester
Satori Folkes-Stone Photo by Brian Hester
Ilda Mason Photo by Brian Hester
Ui-Seng Francois Photo by Brian Hester
Roman Cruz Photo by Brian Hester
Jennifer Gruener Photo by Brian Hester
Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester
Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester
Andrew Sotomayor & Michael Clifton Photo by Brian Hester
Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester
Roman Cruz Photo by Brian Hester
Elijah A Carter Photo by Brian Hester
Corey John Snide Photo by Brian Hester
Corey John Snide, Elijah A Carter Photo by Brian Hester
Amar Ramasar Photo by Brian Hester
Ilda Mason Photo by Brian Hester
Ilda Mason, Michelle Mercedes Photo by Brian Hester
Alexa De Barr Photo by Brian Hester
Gabi Campo Photo by Brian Hester
Gabi Campo Photo by Brian Hester
Matthew Johnson Photo by Brian Hester
Zuri Noelle Ford Photo by Brian Hester
Zuri Noelle Ford Photo by Brian Hester
Marlon Feliz Photo by Brian Hester
Marlon Feliz Photo by Brian Hester
Yesenia Ayala Photo by Brian Hester
Jennifer Gruener Photo by Brian Hester
Yesenia Ayala and Paris Remilard Photo by Brian Hester

Broadway

Brian Hester is a New York City based freelance photographer covering any nature of event including but not limited to; breaking news, sports, entertainment, fashion, nature and whatever may catch his wandering eye. Since 2011 Brian, has been covering community events and high school sports for North Jersey Media Group and their successor Gannett USA Today. His clients include Rutgers University and Monmouth Athletics. ​You can see more of his work at www.brianbehindthelens.com

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