Cabrillo Music Theatre to Present Regional Premiere of IN THE HEIGHTS at TOCAP, 3/28
The American Dream takes on a Latin Beat, as Cabrillo Music Theatre will present the regional professional premiers of this "new classic" - the multi-Tony-winning Best Musical of 2008, IN THE HEIGHTS. IN THE HEIGHTS fuses contemporary music with timeless family struggles, and its' warmth, humor and joyful message resonates with all ages. IN THE HEIGHTS opens on Friday, March 28, 2014, playing until Sunday, April 6th, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.
IN THE HEIGHTS uses contemporary music and dance to tell the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. In other words, it's a story about all of us!
"IN THE HEIGHTS is a wonderful show for theatre audiences," says Cabrillo Music Theatre's Artistic Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld. "The stage vibrates with the energy of all of our young talent, fueled by the passion of the characters. The show's charm is impossible to resist." Adds Wilkenfeld, "IN THE HEIGHTS, by using today's music, really harkens back to musicals of a couple of generations ago, when the songs you hear on the Broadway stage are the same songs you'd hear on the radio. Because of this, IN THE HEIGHTS speaks to an entirely new generation of theatre-goers!"
IN THE HEIGHTS is a show about community, and Cabrillo Music Theatre has pulled together a community of talents to create this, the regional professional premiere. Cabrillo's production will showcase the original Tony-winning Broadway choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler, recreated by the National Tour's Dance Captain, Morgan Marcell, who also directs. Brian Baker Musical Directs, with Music Supervision by Darryl Archibald. The cast of 23 includes some of the finest talents in Southern California and beyond, including Lano Medina (Usnavi), Ayme Olivo (Nina), Frank Authello Andrus Jr. (Benny), Robert Ramirez (Sonny), Celina Polanco (Camilla), Benjamin Perez (Kevin) and Tami Dahbura (Abuela Claudia).
Cabrillo Music Theatre continues its Education program during IN THE HEIGHTS. Study guides have been distributed to schools throughout the region, encouraging student participation and cultural education. Teachers and educators can use the study guides in their classrooms, plus encourage extra credit and outside studies.
IN THE HEIGHTS fuses contemporary music with timeless family struggles, and, although it is recommended for audiences age 13 and up, due to mature language, its' warmth, humor and joyful message will resonate with all ages. IN THEHEIGHTS will have audiences dancing and cheering, and is a perfect addition to Cabrillo Music Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season. Celebrate family, friends and community with IN THE HEIGHTS at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza!
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
ANDY BLANKENBUEHLER (Original Broadway Choreography). Broadway: In The Heights (Tony, Lortel, Calloway, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Award), Annie, Bring It On (Tony nomination), 9 To 5 (Tony nomination), The People In The Picture, and The Apple Tree. Other theatre: Fly (Dallas Theatre Center), The Wiz (City Center Encores), Desperately Seeking Susan (West End), Waiting For the Moon (Frank Wildhorn), A Little Princess (Andrew Lippa), as well as concert work for both Elton John and Bette Midler. On television, his work has been seen on "America's Got Talent", "The Sopranos", MTV, and "So You Think You Can Dance". Mr. Blankenbuehler has performed on Broadway in Fosse, Contact, Man of La Mancha, Saturday Night Fever, Steel Pier, Big, and Guys and Dolls. Mr. Blankenbuehler resides in New York City, with his wife Elly and two children, Luca and Sofia.
MORGAN MARCELL (Director/Choreography Recreation). After re-staging the original Tony-Award winning choreography in New York last spring, Morgan makes her debut as a director with this production of In The Heights! She was Dance Supervisor/Associate Choreographer of the Second National Tour, after closing the First National Tour as Dance Captain. She grew up training and performing all over San Diego County before attending Boston University as a Dean's Scholar. Currently, she works on both coasts, most recently performing in the pre-Broadway production of When You Wish, (the life of Walt Disney). Morgan had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center with the Mark Stuart Dance Theatre, and proudly serves as a member of the Classical Theater Academy at Antaeus in Los Angeles. Some of her favorite work includes the regional premiere of All Shook Up at Musical Theater West, "Nora" in Brighton Beach Memoirs, and "Mary Warren" in The Crucible at Antaeus. Other credits include: Jin Akanishi Tour; Associate Choreographer, Starlight Theater 2011, IL; Assoc. Choreographer, Volleygirls Workshop NY; "Ursula" in Bye Bye Birdie; Emergence, Milwaukee Ballet. TV/Film: Disney Channel; CBS Pilot, "Life As A Song", with choreographer, Jamal Sims; and a body of student/independents films. She is a proud member of Actors Equity.
BRIAN BAKER (Musical Director/Conductor). Arrangements and Music Direction of the Off- Broadway (and Cast Album) and World Premieres of The Marvelous Wonderettes; Original Vocal and Musical Arrangements (and Cast Album) forWinter Wonderettes by Roger Bean. Assoc. Conductor for McCoy Rigby's Miss Saigon and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Raisin (with the late Nell Carter,) Once on this Island and Let's Misbehave at International City Theatre. At Cabrillo Music Theatre, Joseph....Dreamcoat. Always, Patsy Cline and tour with Sally Struthers (2004 Ovation Nomination for Best Musical Direction); Falsettos (for NPR) with Chip Zien, Michael Rupert and Steven Bogardus, and John Rubenstein. Regional credits: One Way Ticket to Hell at the Marilyn Monroe in LA; Raisin and Charlie Brown (California Music Theatre), orchestrations and Musical Direction for Roger Bean's Route 66 and Winter Wonderettes ( LADCC Nomination). At the Utah Shakespearean Festival: Forum, Pippin, Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, The Fantasticks,Damn Yankees, Joseph, Forever Plaid and dozens of Classical and Modern plays. Brian has conducted while on Faculty at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, American Music and Dramatic Academy (LA), Ohio State University, and Denison University.