Could it be? Yes, it could!
In the spring of 1968, a few weeks before graduating from AMDA, Kurt’s classmate and girlfriend, Victoria Morales (soon to be known as Victoria Mallory) was cast as Maria in the first major revival of West Side Story. Richard Rodgers was producing the show at Lincoln Center. Kurt had not auditioned for the show as he remembered his High School choir teacher dropping West Side Story from consideration as the school’s musical a few years earlier because there was no one strong enough to sing the role of Tony.
Late one evening after a few beers, Kurt put on the original cast album and as he sang along with Larry Kert, the original Tony, he had a mini-epiphany. Long story short, after five auditions for Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, Kurt was cast as Tony. On June 24, 1968, opening night, seated directly behind Leonard Bernstein was Kurt’s family and his choir teacher.
Kurt played opposite Vicki all through the summer of 1968 at The State Theatre with a forty-piece orchestra and an incredible cast. Not a bad hop for a Frog Prince and a Pink Bunny Rabbit!
"Wonderful... his way with a song is thrilling." — John Chapman, New York Daily News
"Attractive, vibrant, clear-voiced and plenty of stage vivacity." — Dan Sullivan, The New York Times
"If you care to be in on the birth of two bright stars, I advise you to rush to Lincoln Center. They have youth, looks and remarkably fine voices." — George Oppenheimer, Newsday
"An excellent portrayal." — Variety
"A Tony to rate with the original, a sturdy, no-nonsense singing voice and plenty of fresh charm." — Edward Southern Hip, The Evening News
"Sings wonderfully, youthfully appealing and has the acting ability to make the poignant story believable." — Leonard Harris, CBS TV
"Kurt Peterson is marvelous." — Leonard Harris, CBS TV
"A lyric voice... a golden voice that soars and gives value to the Bernstein score." — Whitney Bolton, The Morning Telegraph