Carnaval de Cabrillo Adds Cast Performances to Celebrate Upcoming IN THE HEIGHTS, 1/12

Carnaval de Cabrillo Adds Cast Performances to Celebrate Upcoming IN THE HEIGHTS, 1/12

Family and community combine with music, entertainment and youth when Cabrillo Music Theatre celebrates their upcoming production of IN THE HEIGHTS with CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO! As part of Cabrillo Music Theatre's 20th Anniversary Celebration, and modeled after the "Carnaval del Barrio" that plays a pivotal role in the show, CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO unites enthusiastic young people, dancers of all ages, city officials, community leaders and local businesses for a free afternoon of dance, music, food, prizes and fun. CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO takes place on Sunday, January 12, 2014, from 12 Noon to 5:00PM, in Carpenter Park, directly outside Cabrillo Music Theatre's home venue, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

The lineup of entertainment continues to grow, with performances by IN THE HEIGHTS stars Ayme Olivo (Nina) and Frank Andrus Jr. (Benny) providing a musical highlight. Joining them to teach the dance to the community will be fellow cast members Lano Medina (Usnavi), Jonathan Arana (Piragua Guy), Vivian Lamolli (Daniela), Robert Ramirez (Sonny), and Rachae Thomas (Vanessa). Other cast members include Elizabeth Maria Walsh, Natalie Iscovich, John Paul Batista, Risa Baeza, and Michael David Romano. They will partner with IN THE HEIGHTS director-choreographer Morgan Marcell to teach the original choreography to the entire community, which will culminate in a full-bodied performance called "Dancin' With Cabrillo."

Also teaching the moves will be some of the top dance instructors in the region, with Conrad Diaz of Borderline Salsa Tuesdays joining the previously announcEd Heather Castillo (Cal State Channel Island), Tracy Wilson (Oak Park High School), Ginny Grady (Cabrillo's Kabrillo Kids/Young Artists Ensemble), Kim Morgan Greene (Pacific Festival Ballet/California Dance Theatre), Cameo Carolan (Newbury Park High School), and Tracy Powell (Louisville High School).

They, in turn, will be joined by some unlikely partners: The "Plaids!" The entire cast of Cabrillo's Forever Plaid - Roger Befeler, Scott Dreier, Jeffrey Scott Parsons and Kurtis Simmons - will learn the choreography just like everyone else - but with their own FOREVER PLAID touch. And they'll have a song to sing as well!

Local organizations continue to join the celebration. Old San Juan Catering will provide a Puerto Rican dining experience, in keeping with the theme of the day. In addition to delicious empanadas, sorullos, and pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales), more traditional festival edibles will be available as well. Desserts from Sweet Arleen's will be available (Sweet Arleen's will donate a portion of the profits back to Cabrillo Music Theatre's outreach efforts), and bottled water has been donated by Hollywood Storage Center of Newbury Park. Borderline Salsa Tuesdays of Thousand Oaks will also "partner" with Cabrillo Music Theatre!

Jacobellis Academy of Dance and Performing Arts joins previously announced participating Dance Studios: California Dance Theatre, The Ballroom World of Dance, and A Step in Time School of Dance. Schools slated to participate include Newbury Park High School, Agoura High School, Simi Valley High School, Thousand Oaks High School, Louisville High School (Woodland Hills) and newly announcEd Royal High School. CARNAVAL partners include Q104.7FM, Live 105.5FM, Gelson's Supermarket, with more joining every day.

Everyone will be a winner at CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO. Every hour, prizes will be rewarded to lucky participants, and a raffle will determine one of the biggest prizes of the day: A pair of tickets to, and a piece of merchandise from, each of Cabrillo Music Theatre's three upcoming productions: FOREVER PLAID, IN THE HEIGHTS, and BYE BYE BIRDIE. Winner of the Video Online Competition receives a walk-on role in a performance of IN THE HEIGHTS, plus Opening Night Tickets and an invitation to the cast Opening Night party. And other winners will receive gift certificates from Gelson's Supermarket, vintage Cabrillo merchandise, show tickets, huge discounts, and more. No one will leave the Carnaval empty-handed.

"At its heart, IN THE HEIGHTS celebrates family and community," says Cabrillo Music Theatre's Artistic Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld. "CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO takes that theme and brings it right into the community's backyard! On January 12th, the Latin musical beat of IN THE HEIGHTS will become the heartbeat for all generations in the neighborhood, with music, dance, and energy." Adds Wilkenfeld, "I'm so glad that Claudia Bill-De La Pena, Thousand Oaks' City Councilwoman and former Mayor, will make a formal presentation, and that local businesses have partnered with us. It's our goal to bring all of the many people and organizations from across the region together at one place, at one time, for a single moment of musical joy."

Participants may sign up in advance through http://carnavaldecabrillo.rsvpify.com/ or in person on the day of the event, then begin learning the choreography from Marcell and her team. The choreography will be taught at all skill levels, allowing for full participation from anyone who wants to learn (ages 6-106, please!). Participants can show up at any time from Noon to 1:30PM and learn the moves, and the multi-level instruction allows for entire families to participate together.

For an afternoon of music and dance.... For a chance to strut your stuff and win a place on the Cabrillo stage.... For the opportunity to learn from the cast and staff of IN THE HEIGHTS, and to be the first to enjoy moments of Cabrillo's production...... and for the food and free prizes...... Cabrillo Music Theatre's CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO truly provides something for everyone, and is the perfect way to celebrate the start of 2014 with an event for the entire family. Come join La Familia Cabrillo at the CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO!!

CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO takes place on Sunday, January 12, 2014, at Carpenter Park, in front of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. The event begins at 11:30AM with walk-up registration. Beginning at 12 Noon, choreography will be taught as participants arrive. The presentation and performance, as well as a sneak peek of IN THE HEIGHTS, will take place at 1:45PM, followd by the Online Video Competition final runoffs and declaration of a winner. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Additional prizes will be given out hourly.

For more information about CARNAVAL DE CABRILLO, and to obtain information about the Online Video Competition. visit the Facebook Event page: Facebook.com/CabrilloMusicTheatre . To pre-register for DANCIN' WITH CABRILLO, go to http://carnavaldecabrillo.rsvpify.com/ - or register in person on January 12th.

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