Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Steven Spielberg Stays Mum on “West Side Story” Casting (Camilla Cabello? Selena Gomez?) as He Co-Chairs Arthur Miller Foundation Dinner

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Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw aren’t often in New York, but they came in last night to co-chair the Arthur Miller Foundation dinner at City Winery– named after America’s greatest playwright (“Death of a Salesman,” in case you didn’t know).

The Foundation is bringing theater to all of New York’s public schools, a big project that is complementary to programs like Rosie’s Broadway Kids at the Maravel Center on West 45th st. The Arthur Miller Foundation goes into the schools themselves. This year they honored Kelly Gilles, a veteran public school teacher.

They also honored Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, who wrote Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and is working on his adaptation of “West Side Story.” Also honored were HBO Documentary Films.

Among the performers on stage were new Tony winners from “The Band’s Visit” Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel, as well as Nathan Lane, Edie Falco, Tituss Burgess, Anthony Ramos, Denée Benton, Solea Pfeiffer, Sherie Rene Scott, Brandon Victor Dixon, and Sasha Hutchings.

At least one Spielberg leading man was in the audience– Liam Neeson, star of “Schindler’s List.” But Daniel Day-Lewis, now retired, husband of Rebecca Miller, was AWOL.  “He’s at home,” Rebecca explained. Daniel– come out, see us, we miss you!

I did ask Spielberg about “West Side Story.” I told him I predicted the casting of Ansel Elgort, which surprised him. He said of those public casting calls in different cities, “they were real. They really were.” I told him I also mentioned Selena Gomez and Camilla Cabello for leads. He narrowed his eyes and said, “I certainly know those names. But I can’t tell you anything!”

Uh-huh. We’ll see.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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