From Blue Springs High School to the bright lights of Broadway, Tyler Eisenreich’s journey has been filled with joy, some painful rejection and the wonder that comes with fulfilling a lifelong dream.
The 2012 graduate, and former Blue Star Award winner for the role of Jimmy in the high school’s production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” is currently part of the cast of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat,” at the New Theatre & Restaurant in Overland Park.
And when the production ends in mid September, he is packing his bags and heading east to join the cast of the Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” which begins Dec. 10 before a Feb. 6, 2020 official opening.
Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove will direct the musical and will collaborate with contemporary dance choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker on the new staging, marking the first major New York revival to deviate from original director Jerome Robbins’ choreography.
“Broadway, ‘West Side Story,’ it’s what I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can recall,” said Eisenreich, who thoughtfully brought his own straw to a breakfast interview at a local coffee house in Blue Springs.
“You know – save the whales! I’m playing my little part with the environment.”
That comes after playing a major role on the local theater scene, where he has appeared in a number of local productions, before joining a national touring cast of “Cinderella.”
He was actually on the tour bus with the cast of “Cinderella” when he got the call from the casting director of “West Side Story.”
“I had auditioned for ‘Mean Girls,’ and didn’t get the part, but through that I heard about the casting for ‘West Side Story,’” Eisenreich said, “so I went and auditioned for ‘West Side Story.’
“Usually, it’s a long, drawn-out process, but I auditioned to be one of the Jets, I got one call back and then I got the call – the call I’ve been dreaming about.”
He then paused for a moment, and chuckled, pushing his drink to the side of the table.
“The call wasn’t that glamorous,” he said. “There were no ‘Congratulations, you’re coming to Broadway!’ type of comments. I actually got the call on our tour bus, and the caller wanted to know if I had an agent – which I don’t – and then told me what I needed to do.”
That was pretty much it – until his “Cinderella” cast mates got the news and they gave Eisenreich a standing ovation on the tour bus.
“That was the coolest part of it,” he said. “Everyone was so happy for me. We all have those dreams and this one came true for me.”
Eisenreich has spent some time in New York, and upon his return to Broadway, he says he will have to find a place to live, and then take care of a lot of other personal business.
“I’m an adult, living in the real world,” he explained. “When I was in New York before, it was tough. I knew it was going to be tough, and you have to make a lot of sacrifices.”
“But I met some great people, and when I go in September, I know I’m going to be sleeping on some friends’ couches, and hopping from one place to another for a while, but I can’t wait!”
“I love the theater, and I’m going to be a working actor, dancer and singer on Broadway.”
Once again, a brief pause, then a long sip of his iced coffee.
“That just sounds so amazing,” he said. “I can’t wait.”