IN THE HEIGHTS Begins Tonight at Chance Theater

IN THE HEIGHTS Begins Tonight at Chance Theater

Chance Theater will present the third show of its 16th Anniversary Season -- the groundbreaking 21st century musical, In The Heights. Written by Pulitzer Finalists Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes, with direction by Chance Artistic Director Oanh Nguyen, choreography by resident artist Kelly Todd and music direction by Robyn Wallace. In The Heights will preview from tonight, July 3 through 10, regular performances will begin July 11 and continue through August 3 at Chance Theater at Bette Aitken theater arts Center.

Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical, In The Heights is a potent reminder of the importance of chasing one's dreams and finding where you belong. Featuring a Grammy Award-winning score of hip-hop, rap, jazz, pop, salsa, and merengue that serves as the backdrop for a community with dreams of succeeding in America while at the same time holding onto their culture and heritage.

"I'm struck by how deeply and profoundly this story resonates with me," said director Oanh Nguyen. "The Vietnamese-American experience of SoCal couldn't be more different than the Dominican-American experience of Washington Heights, New York City. Still, there are elements in this story: people, dialogue, and world-views -- that could not be more personal to me."

In The Heights premiered on Broadway on March 9, 2008 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, directed by Kail and Andy Blankenbuehler. The production run ended on January 9, 2011 after 1,184 regular performances. During the run, the show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards (winning four for Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography, Best Score and Best Musical), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. In addition to these accolades, In the Heights received 9 Drama Desk Award nominations (including Best Music, Best Lyrics) and an award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, won the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Musical, and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda received an Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for the show.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway's In the Heights. Lin-Manuel received the ASCAP Foundation's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and is a National Arts Club Medal of Honor recipient. In May of 2009, Lin-Manuel received the degree of Doctor of Human letters, honoris causa, from Yeshiva University, the youngest recipient of such an honor in the University's 123-year history. As an actor, Lin-Manuel received a 2007 Theater World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance, and the 2007 Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Male Performance courtesy of Actor's Equity Foundation. Lin-Manuel is a co-founder and member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a popular hip-hop improv group that performs regularly in New York City. The group has also toured the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the Aspen, Melbourne and Montreal Comedy Festivals. He currently lives in New York.

Quiara Alegría Hudes is most recently the author of The Elliot Cycle, three standalone plays written over an eight year period. Each play uses a different kind of music--Bach, Coltrane, and Puerto Rican folk music--to trace the coming of age of a bright but haunted young Puerto Rican man. Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, the first play, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Water by the Spoonful, the second, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, opened Off-Broadway in February 2013 at New York's Second Stage Theatre. For the original Off-Broadway incarnation of Heights, Hudes won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. Hudes's honors include the United States Artists Fontanals Fellowship, the Joyce Fellowship at the Goodman Theatre, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Roe Green Award at the Cleveland Playhouse, fellowships at Sundance Theater Institute and the O'Neill Theater Center, and a residency at New Dramatists.

In The Heights will reunite Chance resident artists Oanh Nguyen (director) and Kelly Todd (choreographer) for the ninth time. Previous Chance collaborations include West Side Story, The Who's Tommy (at Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Founder's Hall), Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, the professional world premiere of The Girl, The Grouch, and The Goat by Tony Award winning composer Mark Hollmann (Urinetown - The Musical), as well as Merrily We Roll Along, Into The Woods, Cabaret and Closer Than Ever.

Joining them is music director Robyn Wallace, scenic designer Bradley Kaye (who both worked on West Side Story), as well as lighting designer Martha Carter, sound designer Ryan Brodkin, costume designer Christina Marie Perez, props designer Daniel Bravo, dialect coach Cynthia DeCure, dramaturg Sophie Cripe, and stage manager Courtny Greenough.

The production will feature a cast that includes returning actors Chelsea Baldree, Tony Sanchez and Sarah Pierce, plus Joshua Lopez, Julia Cassandra Smith, Charles McCoy, Candida Orosco, Rachel Oliveros Catalano, Sonja Taylor, Angeline Mirenda, Ruben J. Carbajal, Julio Arroyo, Daniel Kelly, Nohely Quiroz, Stephanie Inglese, Jonna K. Ahn, Monika Pena, Bryan A. Martinez, Izzy Perez, Fabio Antonio, Wesley Barnes and Celina Nguyen making their Chance debuts.

Larry & Sophie Cripe will serve as Executive Producers for this production.

The show will run in previews Thursday, July 3 through Thursday, July 10 (no performance on Friday, July 4; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm). Regular Performances: Friday, July 11 through Sunday, August 3 (Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm & 7pm). The Opening Gala is set for Saturday, July 12 at 8pm, including a post-show reception. All performances play the Chance Theater at Bette Aitken theater arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807. Tickets: $35.00 - $45.00. Call (714) 777-3033 or visit www.ChanceTheater.com.

ABOUT CHANCE THEATER: Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently won three Ovation Awards, including Best Production of a Musical - Intimate Theater, for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq - The Musical. The Chance also received an LADCC Award last year for its reimagined revival of West Side Story. The Anaheim City Council recently named Chance Theater "the official resident theater company of Anaheim". Twice named "Outstanding Arts Organization" by Arts Orange County, Chance Theater is also a recipient of the LADCC's Polly Warfield Award for Excellence. Founded in 1999, Chance Theater is focused on its goal of being Orange County's premiere mid-size contemporary theater by contributing to a more compassionate, connected, and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.

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