Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre to Present IN THE HEIGHTS, 3/7-4/6

Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre to Present IN THE HEIGHTS, 3/7-4/6

Actors' Playhouse presents Broadway's Tony Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights at the Miracle Theatre from March 7 - April 6, 2013.

In The Heights tells 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.

The opening of Actors' Playhouse's production of In The Heights, taking place on the 5th anniversary of the show's opening night on Broadway, marks the first time ever members of the original Broadway and National tour casts will join together with Miami's finest talent to bring this regional production to South Florida audiences.

The principal cast is comprised of South Florida's own Carbonell, Silver Palm, and Silver Knight Award-winning actor Nick Duckart (Actors' Playhouse: Godspell, Joseph..., Next to Normal, The Color of Desire) as Usnavi, OSCAR CHEDA (1st National Tour: In The Heights) as Kevin, Marcus Paul James (Broadway: Rent, In The Heights) as Benny, Sarah Amengual (Broadway: West Side Story, Actors' Playhouse: Next to Normal) as Nina, RAYNER G. GARRANCHAN (City Theatre Shorts for Kids, The ALLIANCE THEATRE Lab's Home Sweet Funeral Home) as Sonny, Doreen Montalvo (Broadway: In The Heights) as Abuela Claudia, CHRISTIE PRADES as Vanessa, television star DENISE CELINA SANCHEZ (TV: Esta Noche Tu Night, Sabado Gigante) as Camila, and Elise Santora (Broadway: In The Heights, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Capeman, Man of La Mancha, first national tour of In The Heights) as Daniela, ALICIA TAYLOR TOMASKO (Broadway: In The Heights) as Carla, Jose-Luis Lopez (Broadway: In The Heights) as Graffiti Pete, and Henry Gainza (Actors' Playhouse: Godspell, Spelling Bee) as Piragua Guy.

Ensemble members include: Renata Eastlick, Rosie Fiedelman (Broadway: In The Heights), REBECCA KRITZER (1st National Tour: In The Heights), Dexter Carr (Broadway: Bring it On), JIMMY A. ARGUELLO, Javier Muñoz (Broadway: In The Heights), Ivore Rousell and ERIKA NAVARRO.

The creative team for In The Heights includes Director David Arisco, Choreographer Stephanie Klemmons (based on Original Choreography by Andy Blankenbeuhler), Musical Director Manny Schvartzman, Assistant Director Henry Gainza, Scenic Designer Sean McClelland, Costume Designer Ellis Tillman, Lighting Designer Patrick Tennent and Sound Designer Alexander Herrin.

"In The Heights will be our most ambitious undertaking in years," said Actors' Playhouse Artistic Director David Arisco. "It will be the culmination of 25 years of growth as an artistic entity. Kicking off the regional future of this Tony Award-winning musical at the Miracle Theatre is the way it should be. This vibrant, 21st century production belongs in Miami."

Preview performances of In The Heights will be held Wednesday and Thursday, March 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. The show will open on Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m. and play through April 7, 2013. Evening performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m. A special weekday matinee is scheduled on Wednesday, March 13 at 2 p.m.

Preview night tickets on the first Wednesday and Thursday are $37. Tickets for weeknights and matinees are $42, and on Friday and Saturday evenings $50. The theatre offers a 10 percent senior discount rate the day of performance and $15 student rush tickets 15 minutes prior to curtain with identification. Discounts are based on availability and exclude Saturday and Sunday.

Group discounted rates are offered for 15 or more through our group sales department. Single tickets may be purchased through the box office at 305-444-9293 or online at

Actors' Playhouse is the nonprofit resident theatre company and managing agent of the historic Miracle Theatre on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Actors' Playhouse, which has brought home 75 regional Carbonell Awards for artistic excellence, is a Florida Presenting Cultural Organization and one of 22 major cultural institutions in Miami-Dade County. In addition to its Mainstage season, Actors' Playhouse offers a year-round season of Musical Theatre for Young Audiences, a National Children's Theatre Festival, a Theatre Conservatory and Summer Camp Program, as well as educational arts outreach programs for underserved youth, and has initiated a Young Talent Big Dreams contest for children in partnership with The Children's Trust.

David Arisco (Director) has been a part of Actors' Playhouse for 25 years, seventeen of them here at the Miracle Theatre. His diverse career spans over thirty years as director, actor, musical director, stage manager, symphonic conductor and instrumentalist. Stage acting credits include starring roles in our critically acclaimed productions of Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, A Thousand Clowns, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Same Time, Next Year, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Plaza Suite and The Odd Couple. Film and television credits include Offbeat, Tollbooth, Miami Vice, America's Most Wanted and Key West. Mr. Arisco has directed over 100 shows here at Actors' Playhouse, including the Carbonell awarded productions of LES MISERABLES (2009), AIDA (2005), Floyd Collins (2003), Violet (2001), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2000), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (1998), West Side Story (1997) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1991), all of which won for Best Musical and Best Direction of a musical. Mr. Arisco is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, and was awarded the Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre from the Florida Professional Theatre Association.

Stephanie Klemons (Choreographer) was an original cast member of both Broadway and Off-Broadway's In The Heights serving as the show's Co-Dance Captain, Co-Associate choreographer of the first national tour, Carla Understudy and member of the Drama Desk Award winning ensemble (Best Ensemble in a Musical 2007). Stephanie just finished closing out a wonderful run of Universal Picture's new musical, Bring It On as the show's Associate Choreographer and played the role of "Alexis" in the Atlanta production last winter. Most recently she teamed up as a cast member of Andy Blankenbeuhler and Jeffrey Sellers' in his directorial debut of new musical FLY this past summer. Stephanie also originated the role of Amma in Tea with Chachaji, a Making Books Sing Production. Finally this year she got to work with one of her idols Frank Wildhorn providing choreography for his show ZELDA, based on the story of F.Scott Fitzgerald and his wife in the roaring 20's at FlatRock Playhouse in North Carolina. Other credits include: Bombay Dreams (1st N'tl Tour, Movie Shaanti), Automatic Superstar (Off-Bway Choreographer, Jonie), In the Heights (Off-Bway), Repo: the Genetic Opera (Off-Bway). Stephanie has danced with pop stars Ciara and Don Omar, done national commercials and prime time TV, and been featured in some really cool Bollywood Films (Jaaneman(2007)), but to date she's most proud of her Not-For-Profit work please visit

MANNY SCHVARTZMAN (Musical Director) is thrilled to be working on In The Heights. Here at Actors' Playhouse, he was recently the music director for The Last 5 Years, for which he received a Carbonell nomination, and was arranger and music director for the world-premiere of Real Men Sing Showtunes...and play with puppets. He's worked with artists such as Barbara Cook, Sandy Patti, Franc D'Ambrosio, Kathy Lee Gifford, Lee Musiker, Phillip Michael Thomas and more. He has also toured with the Young Americans. He is the rehearsal-pianist for Seraphic Fire, South Florida Choral Arts and Florida Singing Sons. He serves as music director for Regent, Silversea and Celebrity Cruise Lines, FIU, MDC, Slow Burn Theater and many more.

Nick Duckart (Usnavi) is thrilled to return to Actors' Playhouse, where he was last seen as John the Baptist/Judas in Godspell. Past AP credits: Next to Normal, Joseph..., Color of Desire. Other credits: LaJolla Playhouse, North Carolina Theatre, New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF), Florida Stage, GableStage, Mosaic Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Caldwell Theatre, Mad Cat, Aventura Cultural Arts Center, Broward Stage Door and City Theatre. TV: "Burn Notice" "66th Annual Tony Awards" and numerous commercials. Nick was also a vocalist on Ricky Martin's latest album, Musica+Alma+Sexo. He is a recipient of the Carbonell Award, Silver Palm Award, and Silver Knight Award in Drama. AEA. BFA New World School of the Arts.

Sarah Amengual (Nina) is thrilled to be back at Actors' Playhouse for In the Heights! Last year she performed in their production of Next to Normal for which she was awarded a BroadwayWorld award and a Carbonell nomination! Upon graduation, Sarah moved to NYC to take over the role of Maria in the Broadway production of West Side Story.

Marcus Paul James (Benny) is a Native New Yorker who was apart of Broadways closing cast of the award winning RENT as Mr. Jefferson & Season's soloist, as well as the Tony award-winning show In The Heights. Was last seen in the new adaptation of RENT Off-broadway and associate choreographer of the Japanese production. Film/T.V. credits include RENT: Filmed live on Broadway, Free Man, and national RadioShack. He is also a Singer/songwriter with albums on sale here and on itunes/CdBaby.

CHRISTIE PRADES (Vanessa) Starting at the age of three, Christie Elaine knew music was a part of her. Setting a goal to create a future in it, Christie continuously trained in voice, multiple styles of dance and acting. She has been a part of several independent films including a lead role as Breeze in If You Only Knew, and has won dance competitions on shows like "Aqui Todos Ganan" and "El Show de Fernando." Christie has also been recognized for her choreography in multiple dance studios and performances, and in order to remain versatile, continues training with world renown choreographers. Christie is writing and recording her own music with some of the top producers in the country.

Doreen Montalvo (Abuela Claudia) is so excited to be coming around full circle with this amazing show! Broadway: original company member of the 2008 Tony Award winning best musical In The Heights, Bolero Singer as well as the roles of Camila, Claudia and Daniela. (2007 Drama Desk Award recipient). Off Bway/Regional: Giant (Public Theatre), The Piper (Irish Rep), La Lupe,(PRTT) Havana Under the Sea ( Hola Award for Best Actress), The Countess of Storyville, Casanova (AMAS) Señor Discretion Himself (world premiere Arena Stage). Television/film: "Smash" (recurring role), "Tale of Timmy Two Chins" (SHO) "Live with Regis and Kelly", "The View", "The Good Wife, "One Life to Live (Dr. Baez), "All My Children" (Chandler maid), "As The World Turns", "Law & Order". Doreen is also featured in the PBS documentary "Chasing Broadway Dreams"(documentary about In the Heights), and "Heart and Soul" the documentary about Frank Loesser. Doreen is a recording and cabaret artist, and can be heard on many jingles, & cast recordings. Debut album: "Volvere" ( and she is currently recording her latest album "Alma Americana/Corazon Latina".

RAYNER G. GARRANCHAN (Sonny) is thrilled to be making his Actors' Playhouse debut in his favorite musical, In the Heights! Rayner is a graduate from the New World School of the Arts' BFA Theatre Program. He recently wrote, produced, and starred in two shows, Steady Hands and iFeel, with a few of his fellow alumni for Lab9 in Miami's MicroTheatre. He was also in City Theatre Shorts for Kids, The ALLIANCE THEATRE Lab's Home Sweet Funeral Home, and The Project [theatre]'s Beer Samplers at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Rayner is also a voice-over artist at The Kitchen and Universal Labs.

OSCAR CHEDA (Kevin) is honored to be part of the Actors' Playhouse 25th Anniversary season, especially since he has been performing with the company since 1993. Recent credits include: "Death and the Maiden" (Mosaic Theatre), In The Heights (1st National Tour) and "Adding Machine- The Musical" (Gablestage) for which he received the 2009 Carbonell award for Best Actor in a Musical.

DENISE CELINA SANCHEZ (Camila) born in PR to Cuban parents and raised in Miami, is a UM, BFA graduate who lived in Washington Heights for 5 years. Now residing in Miami she successfully works on Spanish TV bringing to life characters like Sordina la Monja on Mega and many memorable others on America TV and Univision's, "Sabado Gigante". Actors' Playhouse is where Denise started her stage career in They're Playing Our Song, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar to name a few.

Henry Gainza (Piragua Guy/Assistant Director) is thrilled to be back after completing the 25th Anniversary Production of Godspell at Actors'. Favorite Actors' Credits: Spelling Bee-William Barfee; Johnny Guitar-Trio; Grease-Roger. Off-Broadway/New York: 4 Guys Named Jose... (Original Cast/Cast Album/Carbonell Nomination), Broadway Idol (NYMF), Jose Limon (Symphony Space) Zapata (Signature Theatre). Regional: Arena Stage, Goodspeed Opera House. TV/Film: "Throwdown with Bobby Flay", "SNL", Isabella Rico. Concept Albums: Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland / Tears of Heaven. Henry is also an Award-winning Songwriter who's headlined at the "Broadway at Birdland" Concert Series. Henry is the Associate Artistic Director and Co-founder of The District Stage Company. In the Heights is particularly special to Henry as he was a part of the developmental process of the show dating back to it's first reading in NYC.

Elise Santora (Daniela) Broadway: In The Heights (Abuela, Daniela), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Capeman, Man of La Mancha. Recently appeared as Abuela Claudia in the first national tour of In The Heights. Off Broadway: 365 Days/365 Plays (The Public), Yo Soy Latina (Lincoln Center), Ghost Dance Woman (Douglas Fairbanks). Her T.V. appearances date back to being one of the first Latina dancers on "Soul Train" and she appeared as backup vocalist for such legendary singers as David Bowie and Julio Iglesias. Awards: Ultimate Inspiring Latina 2009 (Ultimate Latina Festival), NYC BOE Teaching Artist of the Year 2009.

ALICIA TAYLOR TOMASKO (Carla): Wepa! Alicia is thrilled to make her Miami debut! Raised in Stuart, FL, trained at Indian River State College, and a member of AEA, she made NYC her home after joining the Broadway cast of In the Heights in 2010-some favorite regional credits are Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey and Cabaret as Sally Bowles.

Jose-Luis Lopez (Graffiti Pete) is beyond stoked to re-live a couple days in the life. This story hits close to home. Thank you to the Actors Playhouse for bringing this story back to life, so we can play, and touch lives. Credits Include: In The Heights (Broadway), In The Heights (1st National Tour), Latin Grammy Awards (Olga Tañon). Billboard Awards (Aventura) AEA, SAG, AFTRA, ASCAP @avecdieu on (Instagram/Soundcloud) @diospatriafilms on (Twitter). I #followback. #ITHMIA

Renata Eastlick (Ensemble) is ecstatic to be a part of In the Heights "familia"! Earlier this year, Renata was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Carbonell for her performance as "Josephine" in the acclaimed production of Ruined (GableStage). Some of her credits include: Eclipsed (Carbonell Nominee, TWTP); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Slow Burn Theatre Co.); Hairspray (Actors' Playhouse); Company (TheatreZone) and The Nutcracker: A Magical New Play (The House Theatre of Chicago). Renata is a proud recipient of the Silver Palm Award (Outstanding New Talent), AEA member and New World School of the Arts College Alumni.

Rosie Fiedelman (Ensemble) was an original cast member of In The Heights, where she made her Broadway debut. Earning the 2006-07 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble off Broadway and the 2007-08 Outstanding Broadway Chorus Award from AEA. She was in the ensemble and DC of Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project. And played "Rosario" in Ghost Dancer. She is a member of Walkerdance, American Dance Machine for the 21st Century and Jennifer Muller/The Works since 2003. Ms. Fiedelman has traveled with the company to Thailand, Bolivia, China, where she taught the Beijing Dance Company/LDTX. Most recently she assisted Ms. Muller setting Bench on Introdans Company in The Netherlands.

REBECCA KRITZER (Ensemble/Dance Captain) is thrilled to be returning to this incredible show in her hometown after traveling the country as an original cast member of In The Heights (1st nat'l tour). Most recently she danced her way around the world for Princess Cruise Lines. In addition to performing, she passionately writes about food for her blog, REBEats ( ), and various publications. Film: Duplicity. TV: Google Chrome commercial (nat'l), "So You Think You Can Dance," "Lopez Tonight," "Sabado Gigante," "Quiero Ser Estrella." B.A. Journalism/Religious Studies, NYU magna cum laude.

Dexter Carr (Ensemble) is just starting out in his Musical Theatre career. After just finishing the Broadway & touring production of Bring It On The Musical, he is beyond excited to perform In The Heights. Dexter has danced with artists such as; Beyonce, Katy Perry, Chris Brown, and Kelly Rowland.

JIMMY A. ARGUELLO (Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of the Actors' Playhouse and In the Heights Family. In addition to performing, Jimmy works as an Agent with Tae Talent Agency, in Miami. TV: "Latin Grammy", "Latin BillBoards", "Premios Lo Nuestro", "Bravo", "Dancing with the Stars", "So You Think You Can Dance" (as one of the top ten male contestants) and a Jordache commercial (featuring Heidi Klum). He has Choreographed for Ricky Martin. Film: Dance Flick, Rock of Ages as Assistant Choreographer to Mia Michaels.

Javier Muñoz (Ensemble) Broadway: In The Heights Usnavi. Off-Broadway: In The Heights Ensemble, Usnavi Understudy; The Porch Ziad. TV: Umizumis: Museum Curator. Regional: The Shakespeare Theatre CoTwo Gentlemen of Verona A Rock Opera Proteus; Kirk Douglas Theatre Venice Venice; NYTW Los Otros The Man. Can be seen in the upcoming independent film The House That Jack Built this year. Awards: Drama Desk, ACCA Award.

Ivore Rousell (Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing once again at Actors' Playhouse! He was last seen in Hairspray! and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Ivore is a native of New Orleans, LA, and LSU Alum. Upon graduating he was worked as a choreographer and creative director developing new recording artists. Ivore has also had the privilege of instructing dancers at studios in New York City and other dance centers across the country. Follow me: @ive_rouse

ERIKA NAVARRO (Ensemble) is an actress, singer, dancer. A Miami native of Colombian, Cuban and Mexican descent. Erika debuted at an early age in the Warner Brother's film Fair Game, hosted 1996 Univision's Disney Easter Parade and spent the next 15 years acting and dancing on Univision's "Sabado Gigante". An FIU graduate, Erika has played "Veronica" on Nickelodeon Latinamerica's TV series "Grachi", "Thalia" on Telemundo's Talent Reality Show "Yo Me Llamo", "Jasmine" on GenTV series "The Beach" and guest artist on Telemundo's "Perro Amor". Dancer in Shakira's "Pure Intuition" music video and "Oral Fixation" tour, she has danced for Chayanne, Wisin y Yandel, and Pitbull amongst many others. Ex singer of girl group GEMROX, now a solo artist just releasing her first single.

Pictured: Rayner G. Garranchan (Sonny), Sarah Amengual (Nina), Marcus Paul James (Benny), Nick Duckart (Usnavi), Christie Prades (Vanessa), Jose-Luis Lopez (Graffiti Pete) and Alicia Taylor Tomasko (Carla) in Actors' Playhouse's production of In the Heights playing March 6 - April 7 at the Miracle Theatre. Photo by Alberto Romeu.

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