Review: VENEZUELAN ARTIST YOALDRI MESSINA SHINES IN LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA & QUIARA 'IN THE HEIGHTS' at At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 'Main Stage'

Show dates from June 14th to July 2nd

By: Jun. 30, 2023
Review: VENEZUELAN ARTIST YOALDRI MESSINA SHINES IN LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA & QUIARA 'IN THE HEIGHTS' at At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 'Main Stage'
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The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival has been graced with the talent of Yoaldri Messina, a Venezuelan artist who is currently mesmerizing audiences with her performances in the hit musical "In the Heights." Yoaldri's journey to this prestigious stage has been a proof of her unwavering dedication and passion for her craft.

After a series of three callbacks, Messina secured a coveted spot in the ensemble of "In the Heights," the Tony Award-winning musical that celebrates the vibrant spirit and culture of the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City. As a member of the ensemble, she showcases her versatility and talent, with two notable featuring roles that highlight her exceptional skills. IThe credits of this production include: Director Valeria Cossu, Music Director Walter Bobby McCoy, Choreography: Michael Anthony Sylvester, and Assistant/ Dance Captain/Latin Choreographer: Hector Flores Jr.

In the song "Paciencia Y Fé," Messina takes on the role of a young Abuela Claudia, the matriarch of the community. Her portrayal breathes life into Abuela Claudia's past, transporting the audience through time and providing a deeper understanding of her character.

Her other exciting featuring role, comes in the form of Yolanda's performance at the Club, where she engages in a complex and intricate dance combination with Usnavi, one of the show's main characters, originally played by Lin Manuel Miranda. Her flawless execution and energy on stage leave a lasting impression, showcasing her remarkable talent as a dancer.

"Graffiti Pete’s (Ralphie Rivera de Jesus) breakdancing moves, Solomon Parker III’s popping and locking as Benny, and ensemble member Yoaldri Messina’s samba all gave me wings." An Nichols from Broad Street Review

Review: VENEZUELAN ARTIST YOALDRI MESSINA SHINES IN LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA & QUIARA 'IN THE HEIGHTS' at At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 'Main Stage'
Photo Credit: James Jin @jamesjinimages

Yoaldri Messina's artistic journey in the US began 11 years ago when she made the life-changing decision to move to New York City. Initially finding great work opportunities as a TV actress for renowned channels like Univision and Telemundo, she demonstrated her versatility and captivated audiences on the small screen.

Back in her native Venezuela, Yoaldri also sharpened her skills in television, gaining recognition for her  performances. Her experience in both TV and theater stages in her home country helped shape her into the versatile performer she is today. In 2019, her connection to Musical Theater materialized when she was invited to be a part of "Broadway Bares" for Broadway Cares, a charitable organization. This opportunity served as a turning point in her career, opening doors to the grand stage.

Yoaldri was recently accepted as a member of the Choreographers Guild and she also dedicates herself to teaching dance to young children at different academies in NY where she imparts her knowledge and passion for dance to students ranging from kindergarten to high school. Her dedication to both her craft and the education of young minds is truly inspiring.

It is worth noting the importance of Messina's first job in New York at the Boys and Girls Harbor Performing Arts Academy . This environment provided her with the opportunity to learn and practice the English language while teaching dance to children. This immersive experience not only helped her improve her language skills but also allowed her to connect with young students on a deeper level.

The importance of mental and body care/  health is something that Yoaldri takes very serious. She believes that dedicating time to get fit in body, mind and soul makes her a better performer and artist.

" My daily routine involves training  three times a week at 5:00am, and I take ballet, jazz, and African dance classes on Saturdays at Broadway Dance Center because I truly believe that training is everything for an artist. One must be prepared for when the opportunity arises so I try to keep my body in shape and maintain a balanced diet consisting of meats and salads. I strongly believe in the saying "you are what you eat." Also, the entertainment industry can be quite stressful, so as part of my mental health care, I practice meditation and journaling."

Review: VENEZUELAN ARTIST YOALDRI MESSINA SHINES IN LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA & QUIARA 'IN THE HEIGHTS' at At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 'Main Stage'
Photo Credit: Guido Venitucci @Guidovenitucci  Make Up: Jennifer Vega

Yoaldri Messina's presence on stage in "In the Heights" at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is proof of her talent, hard work, and unwavering dedication to her craft. Her performances in the show, both as Abuela Claudia and Yolanda, showcase her versatility as an actress and dancer.

Her journey from Venezuela to US stages serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists around the world, reminding them that with perseverance, hard work, and a touch of "paciencia y fé" (patience and faith), their dreams can become real.



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