“This is a story about love” is how Arthur Laurents- writer and director of West Side Story- described the show to Karen Olivo who was cast as Anita. He went on to say “You fight because you love. The hate you feel is because you fear the thing you love will go.” On this episode of “ And The Tony Goes To…” Karen shares details about her complex and close relationship with director Arthur Laurents, with whom she connected deeply and Karen shares how she felt overwhelmed by the expectations of playing Anita- a triple threat role where one is meant to be a great dancer, singer and actress and she describes in detail how Arthur made sure that Karen felt supported in all those areas. To this day when she speaks of Arthur she gets emotional remembering what it was to work with him and how much he meant to her and of course- we talk about how her friend Lin Manuel Miranda was instrumental in her getting the role.
Excerpt from the Tony Awards used with permission of Tony Awards Productions. Copyright © 2021 by Tony Award Productions. All rights reserved.
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