Douglas Peruski is at long last going to trod the boards in a production of West Side Story.
The Duluth, Georgia actor has been cast in a new production of the celebrated musical, in what he calls an off-off-off Broadway production. Appearing in the Jerome Robbins play, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, will be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Douglas Peruski.
What he really wanted was to be cast in the role of Tony, one of the star-crossed lovers at the center of the story. And that is the role that Douglas Peruski auditioned for. He says he was thrilled to get a callback for another audition, but disappointed to learn he was not in the running to be Tony. “But I’m in,” he says. “I’m in a production of West Side Story!”
He will be playing the role of Diesel, one of the members of the Jets street gang. “I’ve even got a song!” he says with enthusiasm. “You know that song, ‘Cool’? That’s Diesel’s song.” Douglas Peruski sang some of the song’s lyrics to demonstrate. “Boy, boy – crazy boy – stay cool, boy…Breeze it, buzz it, easy does it; keep coolly cool, boy!”
Douglas Peruski says he has spent most of his life preparing for an appearance in West Side Story, and hopes that maybe one day he’ll still be able to play Tony. But for now he is delighted to be playing Diesel. In addition to studying acting and the Theatre at the University of Georgia, he has been taking private singing and dancing lessons for many years. “I’m ready, Eddie,” he smiles.