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In the Heights w/ Lopez, Gonzalez, Olivo Opens Off-Bway 2/8

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Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman are pleased to announce full casting for IN THE HEIGHTS, a new musical, beginning previews Tuesday, January 9, 2007 and opening Thursday, February 8, 2007 at Off-Broadway's 37 Arts (450 West 37th Street). With music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes, IN THE HEIGHTS will be directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. Alex Lacamoire is music director, and music arrangements and orchestrations are by Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman.

IN THE HEIGHTS is a new musical about two days in the life of Washington Heights, a vibrant and tight-knit neighborhood at the top of Manhattan. From the vantage point of Usnavi's corner bodega, we experience the joys, heartbreaks and bonds of a Latino community struggling to redefine home.

IN THE HEIGHTS stars Andrea Burns, Janet Dacal, Mandy Gonzalez, John Herrera, Christopher Jackson, Robin De Jesus, Priscilla Lopez, Olga Merediz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Karen Olivo in a cast of 22 that features Rosie Fiedelman, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Joshua Henry, Nina Lafarga, Doreen Montalvo, Javier Munoz, Eliseo Roman, Luis Salgado, Seth Stewart, Rickey Tripp, Michael Balderrama and Stephanie Klemons.

IN THE HEIGHTS will feature a scenic design by Anna Louizos (Avenue Q, High Fidelity), costumes by Paul Tazewell (The Color Purple; Caroline, or Change), lighting by Jason Lyons (The Threepenny Opera, Evil Dead: The Musical) and sound by ACME Sound Partners (Avenue Q, High Fidelity).

The playing schedule for IN THE HEIGHTS is as follows: Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 20, and may be purchased at Ticketmaster.com (212-307-4100).

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Music/Lyrics/Usnavi) received the Georgia Holof Outstanding Lyricist Award for his work on In The Heights at the 2005 Eugene O'Neill Music Theater Conference. Along with Anthony Veneziale and Thomas Kail, he is a founding member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip-hop comedy group that has toured the Aspen Comedy Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Lin-Manuel Miranda has written a number of musical pieces for commercials, including political ads for Fernando Ferrer and Eliot Spitzer, and contributed original music to ads for Promesas, a youth center for homeless teens in New York. In 2004, he and Shockwave won the first annual Vocal Warrs freestyle battle contest at the Bowery Poetry Club. He lives near the last stop on the A train.

Quiara Alegria Hudes (Book) is a playwright and composer originally from Philadelphia, who made her New York debut last January at the Culture Project with her play Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, which is being given regional productions this season at The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Teatro Vista/Steppenwolf Garage, and The New Theatre. Her previous play, Yemaya's Belly, earned three national honors: The Clauder Prize, The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, and The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latino Playwriting Award. Yemaya's Belly has been seen on stages around the country including Portland Stage Company, People's Light and Theatre, and Signature Theatre and is published in Kennedy Center Presents: Award-Winning Plays from the American College Theatre Festival. Upcoming projects include a TV adaptation of her play The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! and commissions from South Coast Repertory and Signature Theatres. Quiara holds a B.A. in Music Composition from Yale University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown University. Her first production came in the tenth grade as part of the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival. Hudes still returns home to teach young writers in the Philadelphia public schools.

Thomas Kail (Director) is the artistic director, and a co-founder, of Back House Productions, the resident theater company of New York City's the Drama Book Shop, and home of the Arthur Seelen Theater. Kail co-created and directs Freestyle Love Supreme (FLS), which had a run at Ars Nova in New York City and was selected to participate in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the 2006 Melbourne Comedy Festival. The show still performs regularly in NYC, and is gearing up for a college tour in spring of 2007. In March of 2006, Back House produced Savages, a new play Anne Nelson. Nelson is author the long-running off-Broadway 9/11 play, The Guys, which was made into a film starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia. Kail directed the 5th anniversary of The Guys at The Flea Theater in Tribeca last September.

Andy Blankenbuehler (Choreographer) is represented this season on Broadway with the Encores! Production of The Apple Tree and regionally with the national tour of Barbie Live, In Fairytopia. Recent productions include Burleigh Grimes, off-Broadway, the new Broadway bound Frank Wildhorn musical Waiting For The Moon and the world premiere of the musical A Little Princess (music by Andrew Lippa). Other works in NYC include Pippin (benefit concert starting Ben Vereen), A Bad Friend (Lincoln Center Theatre) and Postcards on Parade (York Theatre). Regionally, his choreography has been seen in Red, Hot and Blue (Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House), Kept (Theatreworks), Quark Victory (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Bells Are Ringing (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera), and Gypsy (Portland Center Stage). Television credits include The Sopranos and MTV. Andy has staged concert work for Bette Midler, and he directed, choreographed and co-conceived the hit Caesars Palace production of Nights On Broadway.

Alex Lacamoire (Music Direction, Arrangements and orchestrations) was most recently the Music Director of Wicked on Broadway, where he also contributed music arrangements. He is also co-orchestrator and music director of the Broadway production of High Fidelity. Other credits as Music Director and Arranger/Orchestrator include: Bat Boy: The Musical Off-Broadway, the 2001 National Tour of Godspell, and Stephen Schwartz's Captain Louie. As a pianist, Alex has performed with Lou Rawls, The Funk Brothers, and Idina Menzel.

Bill Sherman (Music Arrangements and Orchestrations) As arranger/orchestrator Bill Sherman has worked on a number of shows including A Night for Comden and Green and Lover, Liar, Lady featuring the music of Kander and Ebb. Music preparation credits include Captain Louie by Stephen Schwartz and Bare: A Pop Opera by Damon Intrabartolo. As a member of New York's premier hip-hop, improv group Freestyle Love Supreme, Bill has traveled to the Aspen Comedy Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

CAST BIOGRAPHIES

Andrea Burns (Daniela) Broadway: Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Belle). Off-Broadway: Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night, Sail Away! with Elaine Stritch (Carnegie Hall) and Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. Recordings: Songs for a New World, Saturday Night and Broadway Bound. National tours: The Full Monty, Parade.

Janet Dacal (Carla) made her Broadway debut in Good Vibrations. Off-Broadway: Five Course Love. Regional: Four Guys Named Jose... (Maria), Annie, Ain't Misbehavin'; Fiddler on the Roof.

Mandy Gonzalez (Nina) stared as Sarah alongside Michael Crawford in Dance of the Vampires. Other Broadway credits include Aida and Lennon. Mandy won an Obie Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli's Comin'. She has also performed as a backup singer for the Divine Bette Midler on a tour.

John Herrera (Kevin) Broadway: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony nom.), Man of La Mancha (Quixote u/s), 1776 (Roger Sherman), Evita (Che), Shogun. National tours: Evita, Chess, Martin Guerre and Les Misérables. Regional: George in Sunday in the Park with George at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Christopher Jackson (Benny) made his Broadway debut in The Lion King. A graduate of AMDA, he has been seen Off-Broadway in Time and the Wind. He is currently involved with several recording projects with his group Deacon Good Day.

Robin De Jesus (Sonny) made his Broadway debut in Rent. Past theatre credits include In the Heights at the O'Neill Center, Kander and Ebb's Skin of Our Teeth at the McCarter, Kingdom at the Public. Film credits: Camp, Pet the Goat and Fat Girls.

Priscilla Lopez (Camila) Broadway: Anna in the Tropics, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine (Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance as Harpo Marx), DiAna Morales in A Chorus Line (Tony nomination), The Sisters Rosensweig; Nine, Lysistrata, Pippin, Company, Her First Roman, Henry, Sweet Henry, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Off-Broadway: Class Mothers '68 (Drama Desk nomination), newyorkers, The Passion of Frida Kahlo, Antigone in New York, Other People's Money, Extremities, Key Exchange, Buck, Your Own Thing. She is a recipient of the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence.

Olga Merediz (Claudia) Broadway: Mamma Mia, Reckless at MTC, Man of La Mancha, Les Misérables, The Human Comedy. Off-Broadway: The Taming of the Shrew (NYSF), The Blessing, The Lady from Havana, Thornhill, Lullaby and Goodnight, The Haggadah (Public), El Grande de Coca-Cola, El Bravo! Film: Changing Lanes, K-Pax, Music of the Heart, Center Stage, Evita, Isn't She Great, City of Hope, Requiem for a Dream, Marvin's Room, Apartment 5-C (Cannes Film Festival upcoming), Angie, The Milagro Beanfield War.

Karen Olivo (Vanessa) Broadway credits include Brooklyn and Rent. She starred as Mimi in the first national tour of Rent. Television: "As the World Turns." Karen attended CCM (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music) for musical theatre.

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