Manuel Stark Santos
Manuel Stark Santos is humbled and honoured to be leading the Sharks Down Under! His immense love for West Side Story began at an early age by watching the classic 1961 film on repeat and helped inspire his passion for dance, music, acting, and theatre. After moving from Houston, Texas to New York City as a teen, that love manifested into landing his Broadway debut in the 2009 revival of West Side Story at the Palace Theatre directed by the incredible Arthur Laurents (who was 91 years of age) where Manuel went from being in the ensemble to playing Chino permanently.
Following this momentum, he had the privilege of performing in other Broadway shows such as the revival of Gigi at the Neil Simon Theatre, the revival of On The Town at the Lyric Theatre, and Aladdin (another childhood favorite of his) at the New Amsterdam Theatre. You may have also seen him dancing around for 14 episodes in NBC’s TV show Smash about the creation of a musical called Bombshell depicting the story of Marilyn Monroe. Other favorite past roles he has played include Paul and Al in two separate productions of A Chorus Line and Ren in Footloose at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Most recently, Manuel fulfilled a dream of his being a key player in one of the North American touring companies of Hamilton: An American Musical where he regularly performed as King George III, Lafayette/Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton. Manuel and his company (the And Peggy Tour) completed its run at the end of 2023 after a successful 2 years of touring the US and Canada, and he feels so grateful for the growth that experience instilled within him.
This is Manuel’s first time in Australia, and he couldn’t be more excited!