Forrest Sawyer, the acclaimed multiple award-winning journalist and part-time local resident, will take on the role of “Doc” in the Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theater’s production of West Side Story.

Forrest Sawyer

Forrest Sawyer

Originally, Christopher Lloyd had planned to be in the show as Doc, until he was hired for a film job on the exact dates as the SBYET show — this Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Want free tickets? Come up with your most creative answer to, “What is a Noozhawker?” and you could win a family pack. The family pack, a $50 value, includes up to two adults and three children (age 14 or younger), and all tickets are general admission (no assigned seating). For the best seats, arrive no later than 1:30 p.m.

To enter, email your answer and contact information to Noozhawk sales representative Chris Donahue at All entrants will be registered to receive Noozhawk’s free daily e-Bulletin.

Sawyer is best known as an award-winning broadcast journalist who has reported and anchored for every major network. He recorded exclusives all over the world, earning seven Emmy Awards and a Peabody.

When asked why Sawyer was stepping up to do this, he replied with a smile, “For fun. And I always dreamed of owning a drug store.”

He was in shows in high school and has always loved acting. He is now a sought-after speaker, founder of a biotech company and continues to produce documentaries and nonfiction shows for TV. He lives in Santa Barbara.

As an actor, he appeared in the film For Sale by Owner, on television in a critically acclaimed, starring role in the live performance of The West Wing and off-Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others.

Additionally, two dads are jumping on stage and into uniforms to play the police. Kevin Contreras will play Lt. Shrank, and Peter Umoff will be Officer Krupke. Contreras’ daughter is McCailey, and Umoff has his son Cooper and daughter Camille in the production.

Andrew Firestone will play Glad Hand, the MC at the Dance at the Gym where all the fireworks begin. Firestone was thrust into the national spotlight in 2003 via the reality TV show The Bachelor. Making his acing debut with this SBYET production, he is now happily married with two children and lives locally.

SBYET extends its thanks to all of these adults for lending their time, talent and notoriety to the show.

Tickets to West Side Story are $20 for general admission and $10 for children age 14 or younger. Family packs are available for $50 for a maximum of two adults and three children.

To order tickets, click here or call 805.963.0761.

— Mo McFadden is a publicist.