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IN THE HEIGHTS At Orlando Shakes Stars Local And National Latinx Talent

IN THE HEIGHTS At Orlando Shakes Stars Local And National Latinx Talent Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF's production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights runs from September 5 - October 7, 2018. Tickets (starting at $30) are available now by phone (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, online at, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

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. In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations.

"This production brings our theater an incredible opportunity to feature a diverse cast of Latinx performers from Orlando and nationwide," says Artistic Director Jim Helsinger. "Lin-Manuel Miranda has created a community of characters whose stories are universal: stories of family, of love, of running a small business, and reaching for your dreams. It's definitely going to touch our audience's hearts."

Orlando Shakes' In the Heights features:

  • Ernie Pruneda* as Usnavi de la Vega. Past credits include Sister Act: The Musical (Original Broadway Cast), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Clopin), Tarzan (Terk), Les Miserables (Marius), Peter Pan (Cecco), All Shook Up (Dean Hyde), White Christmas (Ezekiel), and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Ritchie Valens) and many other appearances and performances across the country and at sea.
  • Alina Alcántara as Abuela Claudia. A Music Business alumna from Berklee College of Music, some of Alina's recent credits include El Wiz (Orlando Fringe), Madagascar: A Musical Adventure (Orlando Rep), and her Orlando Shakes debut in Man of La Mancha.
  • Iliana Garcia* as Nina. She was last seen as Carla in the John W. Engeman Theater's production of In the Heights. Other Regional credits: In the Heights (Nina, Vanessa), You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (Sally), Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), Hot Mikado (Yum-Yum), the collegiate premiere of Pop! (Valerie), and the premiere of Resident Alien (Sveta). TV/Film: Around & Around, "Blue Bloods." For more information, please visit:
  • Deon'te Goodman makes his Orlando Shakes debut as Benny. NYC credits: Freedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical, The Prince of Egypt (Stage Reading). Regional credits: Songbird (Two River Theatre), Caroline, or Change (Cape Fear Regional Theatre), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Florida Repertory Theatre), and Stop Kiss (B Street Theatre). He has also landed principle roles in many operas, including Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei, and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Additional casting includes Juan Cantú* as Kevin, Leesa Castaneda as Camila, Nina V. Negron* as Vanessa, Zachary Infante* as Sonny, Vicky Campadonico as Daniela, Kayla Alvarez as Carla, Erick Ariel Sureda as Graffetti Pete, and Bert Rodriguez* as Piragua Guy. The ensemble includes Melanie Farber, Nicolette Quintero, Alejandra Martinez, Cherise James, Maiky Ayala, Kyle Laing, Joshian Morales*, Rico Lastrapes, and Mark V. Harriott.

Director Nick DeGruccio returns to Orlando Shakes after directing Man of La Mancha in 2017. Credits include: Guys and Dolls and In The Heights (TUTS), Next To Normal (La Mirada Theatre, San Diego Music Theatre), Putting It Together, A Year With Frog and Toad (South Coast Repertory), The Last Five Years (LA Premiere, Pasadena Playhouse),Carrie (UCLA), First Date (Southern CA Premiere, La Mirada Theatre),Company (Cabrillo Music Theatre), A Christmas Memory (The Laguna Playhouse), The Laramie Project (LA Premiere: Colony Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Ovation Award for Direction), Jekyll & Hyde (Cabrillo Music Theatre: Ovation Award for Direction) and 1776 (Musical Theatre West/Performance Riverside/Cabrillo: Ovation Award for Direction), The Andrews Brothers (Coyote StageWorks, Desert League Award for Direction), Caught (World Premiere, Zephyr Theatre), RENT, La Cage Aux Folles, The Andrews Brothers (Musical Theatre West), Cinderella (The Ordway). Havok Theatre Company: LA Premieres of Dog Sees God, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Ovation Award for Production), Thrill Me and The Story Of My Life. LA Premiere of Side Show (Colony Theatre), The Spitfire Grill (Laguna Playhouse), Zanna, Don't! (West Coast Ensemble: LADCC Award for Direction), Side By Side By Sondheim (The Rubicon Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse), Bad Apples (Rubicon Theatre: World Premiere), Beehive (El Portal Theatre),Guys and Dolls (MTW, Cabrillo), The Full Monty (San Diego Music Theatre). 2008 LADCC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre, BackStage Award for Direction for an Outstanding Season.

The artistic team also includes Assistant Director Eric Zivot, Musical Director Josh Ceballos, Choreographer Kim Ball, Scenic Designer Jim Hunter, Lighting Designer Bert Scott, Costume Designer Christopher Vergara, Wig Designer/Stylist Ron Wolek, Sound Designers Craig Beyrooti and Trevor Peters, Audio Engineer Britt Sandusky, AEA Stage Manager Karl Lengel*, and AEA Assistant Stage Manager Stacy Renee Norwood*.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association.


Preview Dates: September 5 & 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Date: September 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Senior Matinees: September 12, 19, & 26, & October 3 at 2 p.m.

Talk Back Performance: September 23 at 2 p.m.

Opening Night Party & Pre-Show Chat - Friday, September 7

Arrive at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy free light appetizers, followed by a brief, informative discussion about the creative process with the director and members of the creative team. Free to all opening night ticket holders. No RSVP necessary.



Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. - starting at $30

Preview Performances and Senior Matinees - starting at 18

DISCOUNTS (May not be combined with any other offers)

Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+

Student Rush: $25 - 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID

Student and Active/Retired Military: $10 off single ticket prices w/ valid ID (Only available in Price Levels A and B)

$25 Under 35: Patrons under 35 years old can purchase $25 tickets for evening and weekend matinee performances during the third week of each production. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or purchase online with code word: 25UNDER35

In the Heights is presented by Massey Services Inc. Additional support is provided by Orlando Health, UCF Office of the President, UCF College of Arts & Humanities, and Seaside Wealth Management.

Orlando Shakes recognizes its 30th Season Producing Partners: Alan Ginsburg Family Foundation, Ford W. Kiene, Harriett Lake, John and Rita Lowndes,Ken and Trisha Margeson, Jim and Diana Barnes, Marilyn Goldman, A. Brian Phillips, Albert and Elisabeth Prast, Frank Santos and Dan Dantin, Jim and Valeria Shapiro, Simon and Ellen Snyder, and Al and Brea Weiss.

This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Orlando Shakes is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.

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