Two former University of Oklahoma musical theatre students, Eloise Kropp and Ezra Menas, who had key roles while on the University Theatre stage, will be featured in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of West Side Story. Menas will be playing the key role of “Anybody’s” and Kropp will be one of the Jet Girls in the new film, which begins filming this summer.
The movie based on the landmark 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Berstein, and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story explores forbidden love, and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Kropp has been very successful since leaving OU, when she was offered the role of Ruby in the musical “Dames At Sea” on Broadway. She played Jennyanydots in the recent Broadway revival of Cats, and was featured in the revival of On the Town. Most recently, Kropp was seen at the Kennedy Center playing Zanetta Shinn in Music Man starring Norm Lewis, Tony-winner Jessie Mueller, and Rosie O’Donnell.
Menas will be seen this fall in the new Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill. They were featured in the new musical - Normativity in the NY Musical Festival, the National Tour of A Chorus Line, and in several seasons at Musical Theatre Wichita.
“The Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at OU has a long tradition of alumni success,” stated Ashton Byrum, school director. “In addition to the good news listed above, this spring, alumni have joined the current Broadway casts of Waitress, My Fair Lady, Mean Girls, Tootsie and The Book of Mormon. The program was recently listed on Broadway World as one of the most represented schools on Broadway.”