Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Where Are They Now? Catch Up on the Careers of the Original Cast of IN THE HEIGHTS!

The original cast of In the Heights featured Lin-Manuel Miranda, Karen Olivo, Mandy Goonzalez, Christopher Jackson, and more!

In our new series, 'Where Are They Now?' we're taking a look back at some of our favorite original Broadway casts, and catching up with their careers! From Off-Broadway to Broadway to the screen, find out where all of your favorites are.

First up, the original cast of In the Heights - see what the original cast has been up to!


Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics for In The Heights, was the original Usnavi in the 2008 Broadway production. He went on to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score for the show, and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda has only continued to climb to the highest heights in the entertainment industry.

Miranda went on to write the book and score and star as the title character in Hamilton on Broadway in 2015. Hamilton won the Tony Award for Best Musical; Miranda won the Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical and received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the musical, and the Hamilton cast album won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Miranda went on to write the music for the Disney animated musical Moana, released in 2016. He was nominated for an Best Original Song at the 89th Academy Awards for How Far I'll Go, and the song won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. On screen, Lin-Manuel Miranda starred in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018. Miranda received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2018. In 2019, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-founded by Miranda premiered on Broadway.

Most recently, Miranda appeared as Piragua Guy in the 2021 film adaptation of In the Heights!


Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez starred as the original Nina in In the Heights on Broadway. Following In the Heights, Gonzalez went on to star as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway in 2010! On screen, Gonzalez went on to appear in TV shows such as The Good Wife, Madam Secretary, Quantico and more! In September 2016, she joined the Broadway cast of Hamilton as Angelica Schuyler, replacing Renée Elise Goldsberry.

She released her first solo album, Fearless, in 2017. In 2019, she appeared in the John F. Kennedy Center's production of The Who's Tommy as Mrs. Walker. In 2021 Mandy Gonzalez released her first book, a middle grade novel, also entitled Fearless, published by Simon & Schuster!


Christopher Jackson

Christopher Jackson was the original Benny in In The Heights. After In the Heights, Jackson went on to write music for the TV reboot of The Electric Company in 2009. In 2011, he won the "Outstanding Original Song" Emmy Award for his lyrics to "What I Am," which he co-wrote for Sesame Street with Bill Sherman.

In 2012 he returned to Broadway as Delray in Memphis, and in 2013 he replaced Everett Bradley as "Diga Diga Doo" in After Midnight. In 2013 he appeared at Primary Stages as Derek Jeter and Bobby Sturges in the Eric Simonson's Bronx Bombers, and remained with the production when it transferred to Broadway in 2014. In 2014 he also played the role of Vertus in the Tupac Broadway musical Holler If Ya Hear Me. Jackson originated the role of President George Washington in Hamilton on Broadway in 2015. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

On screen, Jackson went on to play Chunk Palmer in the CBS courtroom drama Bull beginning in 2016. He provided the singing voice for Chief Tui in Moana in 2016. He also appeared in The Lion Guard, When They See Us, and Central Park.


Karen Olivo

Karen Olivo starred as the original Vanessa in the Broadway production of In the Heights. After In the Heights, they went on to win the Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. They were also nominated for both a Drama Desk and an Outer Critic's Circle Award for the performance, and earned their second Astaire Award nomination for Best Female Dancer for their performance, after previously winning the same award in 2008 for their performance in In the Heights.

In 2011 she starred in the world premiere of By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Her on stage performances continued in 2012 with the Off-Broadway production of Murder Ballad, the New York City Center production of tick, tick... BOOM! in 2014, and The Odyssey at Delacorte Theater in 2015. They went on to reprise the role of Anita in the Hollywood Bowl production of West Side Story in 2016. In 2016 she starred as Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago production of Hamilton. In 2018 she starred as Florence in the Kennedy Center Production of Chess, and as Alison Bechdel in the Forward Theater production of Fun Home. In 2018, she originated the role of Satine in the Broadway production of Moulin Rouge. On screen, they have starred in The Good Wife on CBS and more!


Olga Merediz

Olga Merediz originated the role of Abuela Claudia in In the Heights! For the role, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. On TV she has appeared in Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, Orange Is the New Black, Madam Secretary, Shades of Blue, Bounty Hunters, Stuck in the Middle, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Amsterdam, Diary of a Future President and much more. In film she has appeared in Remember Me, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Place Beyond the Pines, Top Five, Godmothered and many more. In 2021 she reprised her role as Abuela Claudia in the film adaptation of In the Heights!


Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez starred as the original Kevin in In the Heights! Gomez starred in the A&E television series The Glades for all four seasons, from 2010-2013. He appeared in Dolphin Tale 2 in 2014. In 2020, Gomez starred Rafael Garcia in the ABC romantic comedy-drama series The Baker and the Beauty. His additional films include Ride Along 2, The Report, and more. On television, he appeared in Madam Secretary, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, NCIS: New Orleans, Elementary, Chicago Med and Big Sky.


Priscilla Lopez

Where Are They Now? Catch Up on the Careers of the Original Cast of IN THE HEIGHTS! Priscilla Lopez starred as Camila in the original cast of In the Heights! After In the Heights, she took over the role of Berthe in the revival of Pippin on Broadway in 2014. In 2020, she starred in the Broadway production of Grand Horizons as Carla. In 2020 Priscilla Lopez starred in Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical as Mabel!

On TV, Lopez has appeared in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Do No Harm, Madam Secretary, Blindspot and more.


Robin de Jesús

Robin de Jesús originated the role of Sonny in In the Heights, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. In 2010, he joined the revival cast of La Cage aux Folles as Jacob, which earned him his second Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. in the featured category. The production opened at the Longacre Theatre on April 18, 2010. In 2014 he played Boq Wicked. In 2019, he received a third Tony Award nomination, for Best Featured Actor in a Play, for his role of Emory in The Boys in the Band. In film, de Jesús starred in the film adaptation of The Boys in the Band as Emory, and is starring as Michael in the soon to be released film adaptation of Tick, Tick... Boom!.


Andréa Burns

Andréa Burns was the original Daniela in In the Heights! After starring in In the Heights, Burns went on to star in the original Broadway production of On Your Feet in 2015, the Two River Theater World Premiere of Pamela's First Musical in 2018, the Off-Broadway production of Carmelina in 2019, the Off-Broadway production of Smart Blonde in 2019, and the 2019 Off-Broadway production of Working: A Musical in 2019! On screen, she has appeared in the Mad About You reboot, Jessica Jones, Kevin Can Wait, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, Rescue Me, The Electric Company reeboot, and Wonder Pets.


Janet Dacal

Janet Dacal was the original Carla in In the Heights! After In the Heights. She later returned to the Broadway production of In the Heights in 2010 as Nina! Dacal starred as Alice in the Broadway production of the musical Wonderland in 2011. In 2017, Dacal starred in the limited-run musical Prince of Broadway! From January 3, 2020 until the March 2020 coronavirus shutdown, Dacal was starring as Dina in the national tour of The Bands Visit.


Seth Stewart

Where Are They Now? Catch Up on the Careers of the Original Cast of IN THE HEIGHTS! Stewart originated the role of Graffiti Pete in In the Heights! After leaving the production in 2009, he actually returned to the role in 2010! Steward was a member of the original cast of Hamilton, In the musical, appearing in the ensemble, and as as an understudy to Daveed Diggs for the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. He then went on to play both roles. On screen, Stewart recently appeared in the film version of In the Heights! Seth, having previously been a backup dancer for Madonna, J-Lo and more, is also currently a professional dance teacher.


Eliseo Román

Eliseo was the original Piragua Guy in In the Heights! He went on to appear in the Broadway production of Leap of Faith in 2012, and On Your Feet in 2015. Román went on to reprise his role of Piragua Guy in the Kennedy Center Concert Production of In the Heights in 2018. In 2018 he starred in the Powerhouse season workshop of The Connector, and in 2019, he starred in MCP Concert Presentation of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

TodayTix Black Friday

Related Stories
VIDEO: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo Join Blackout Trend! Photo
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo have joined in on the new In the Heights trend sweeping through TikTok! The pair, who originated the roles of Usnavi and Vanessa in the original Broadway production of In the Heights, filmed themselves lip-syncing to 'Blackout' from the film, with Miranda singing Vanessa's part and Olivo singing Usnavi's.

IN THE HEIGHTS Wins Best Picture at HCA Midseason Awards Photo
See the full list of award winners here. In The Heights took home top honors, including best picture, best actor for Anthony Ramos, and best director for Jon M. Chu.

IN THE HEIGHTS Film Soundtrack Hits #1 in the United States Photo
Listen to the collection, which features a brand-new original song performed by the film’s stars Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace & Marc Anthony titled “Home All Summer.” 

VIDEO: Lin-Manuel Miranda Discusses IN THE HEIGHTS Casting Controversy Photo
Hear Miranda's response to Trevor Noah about how criticism of representation in the film adaptation of “In the Heights” will influence his future projects.


From This Author - Chloe Rabinowitz


Interview: Rupert Holmes Talks the Enduring Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ALL THINGS EQUALInterview: Rupert Holmes Talks the Enduring Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ALL THINGS EQUAL
November 18, 2022

Read BroadwayWorld's interview with multiple-Tony Award winning playwright Rupert Holmes, as he discusses his new play All Things Equal - The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Interview: How Bill Sherman Is Bringing Britney Spears, Katy Perry & More to Broadway in & JULIETInterview: How Bill Sherman Is Bringing Britney Spears, Katy Perry & More to Broadway in & JULIET
November 17, 2022

Read BroadwayWorld's interview with Tony, Grammy and Daytime Emmy-Award Bill Sherman, the music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator on & Juliet on Broadway. Sherman discusses shaping songs like ...Baby One More Time, Larger Than Life, Since U Been Gone, and more for the Broadway stage.

Interview: CAMP SIEGFRIED's Lily McInerny Talks Transition From Screen to Stage in Her New York City Theater DebutInterview: CAMP SIEGFRIED's Lily McInerny Talks Transition From Screen to Stage in Her New York City Theater Debut
November 15, 2022

Read BroadwayWorld's interview with Lily McInerny, currently making her New York City theater debut in the New York premiere of Bess Wohl's Camp Siegfried at Second Stage.

Interview: Elizabeth A. Davis on Why Her Journey With 1776 is Something She Will Never Take for GrantedInterview: Elizabeth A. Davis on Why Her Journey With 1776 is Something She Will Never Take for Granted
November 6, 2022

BroadwayWorld spoke with Elizabeth A. Davis, currently starring as Thomas Jefferson in the new Broadway production of 1776, on how being pregnant has shaped her journey with the show, the support and love she's experienced from the company, and much more. Read the interview here!

Interview: Douglas McGrath Discusses Expecting the Unexpected in One-Man Play EVERYTHING'S FINEInterview: Douglas McGrath Discusses Expecting the Unexpected in One-Man Play EVERYTHING'S FINE
October 13, 2022

Oscar-nominated writer Douglas McGrath is bringing his autobiographical, one-man play Everything's Fine to the stage at the DR2 Theatre. Read BroadwayWorld's interview with McGrath here!