In The Heights announces impressive cast

Award winning production company Blue Saint Productions has announced the full cast of the upcoming Tony Award winning musical In The Heights at the Hayes Theatre Co. Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer behind the Hamilton phenomenon, this brand new, authentic production will run from 16 March 2018.

Playing the role of Usnavi De La Vega (played by Lin Manuel Miranda in the Broadway production) is Ryan Gonzalez. Fresh from treading the boards in Kinky Boots, Ryan is also known at Hayes Theatre Co for his role in Violet and his hit one-man show Hispanic Attack! Ryan is also playing the role of Freddy in the upcoming Hayes Theatre Co production of The View Upstairs.

Returning to the musical theatre stage to play the role of Benny will be Tim ‘Timomatic’ Omaji. Initially, rising to fame as a contestant in the Australian series So You Think You Can Dance in 2009, Tim cemented his place as a household name as a top three finalist in Australia’s Got Talent in 2011. He played the lead role in the stage musical Fame, and has since become a successful recording artist and songwriter with a string of hits including the 4-x platinum, ARIA nominated single Set It Off, and has just recently released his new EP Stamina.

Fresh from the hit musical The Bodyguard, Olivia Vasquez will play Vanessa, Usnavi’s beautiful love interest, while in the role of Usnavi’s cousin, Sonny de la Vega, is recent VCA graduate Marty Alix. The role of college drop-out Nina Rosario who becomes romantically entwined with Benny is Luisa Scrofani (Violet, Spring Awakening). Playing “Abuela” Claudia, the matriarch of the Barrio, is musical theatre veteran Margi De Ferranti (Les Miserables, Mamma Mia).

The feisty and funny roles of Daniela and Carla will be played by Monique Montez (We Will Rock You, The REAL Thing) and Libby Asciak (Heathers, The Secret Daughter). Making her Hayes Theatre Co debut as Nina’s strong-willed mother, Camila, is acclaimed actress Ana Maria Belo (Tribe, HAIR) alongside Nina’s over protective father, Kevin, played by distinguished Colombian actor Alexander Palacio.

Stephen Tannos (So You Think You Can Dance, Fame) takes on the role of Graffiti Pete with the Piragua Guy being played by acclaimed Latino musician Richard Valdez. Completing the cast in the ensemble are performers Will Centurion (Aladdin, King Kong), Michelle Rozario (The King and I) and Samantha Bruzzese (The Bodyguard).

In The Heights tells the story of a vibrant Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican community in New York City’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – a place where the coffee from the bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the streets explode with the songs and rhythms of three generations. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

In The Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.The show was conceived, and the music and lyrics were written by, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is perhaps best known today as the creator of Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards in 2016 including Best Musical. The book for the show was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful.

Produced by the award-winning team behind Violet and Songs for A New World, In the Heights boasts a stellar Australian creative team with Director Luke Joslin (Songs for a New World), Musical Direction by dual Sydney Theatre Award winning Lucy Bermingham (Violet, Spring Awakening) and Choreography by Amy Campbell (So You Think You Can Dance, Hispanic Attack).

“…real humanity that transcends its flirtation with cliche. That depth of feeling, together with the wit of Miranda’s lyrics, the playful dexterity of his rhymes, his dynamic score and a bunch of truly winning performances, make the show an uncalculated charmer.” – Variety

In The Heights plays at the Hayes Theatre Co from 16 March 2018. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.hayestheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Ryan Gonzalez, Olivia Vasquez, Tim ‘Timomatic’ Omaji to star in In The Heights (supplied)

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