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IN THE HEIGHTS 1st National Tour arrives in Arizona

IN THE HEIGHTS, makes its Arizona premiere June 15-20 in Tempe's Gammage Auditorium. This 2008 Tony Award winner for Best Musical is a series of vignettes exploring the lives of a tight-knit Washington Heights neighborhood. In the tradition of WEST SIDE STORY, the show explores Manhattan's Latino population with a style unfamiliar to Broadway audiences. Lin-Manuel Miranda's Latin pop, hip-hop, and merengue infused score is considered a breakthrough sound for the American musical. This refreshing and passionate tale is now charming audiences outside of New York as the 1st National Tour salsa dances its way across the country.

The story spans three days, Fourth of July weekend, on a residential street in Upper Manhattan. Bordega owner Usnavi narrates, pours cafe con leche and sells lottery tickets to his neighbors. He uses a vibrant and well-crafted opening number to introduce his abuela "who's not really (his) abuela," his love interest, Vanessa, and his friend, Benny. Nina Rosario is the neighborhood pride back from her freshman year at Stanford. She hasn't yet confessed to her family that she lost her scholarship and dropped out. Her parents own a struggling car service dispatch that employs Benny. Benny falls in love with Nina and hopes to open his own dispatch. Outrageous Daniella has her own problems. Her salon, the epicenter of community gossip, must relocate to the Bronx. When news comes that Usnavi's bordega has sold a winning lottery ticket, everyone wonders whose life will change.

It received 13 Tony nominations (including wins for Best Musical and Best Score) and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. "An irresistable fusion of Latin, hip-hop, and jazz..." says Entertainment Weekly while Newsday calls it "an upbeat power surge of an urban folk tale."

IN THE HEIGHTS is an insightful slice of the New York City pie. Its day-in-the-life depiction of the hardships and hopes of the Latino experience is a welcome message to the the state of Arizona. Attracting the 1st National Tour of an acclaimed Broadway hit so early in its run is outside the norm for the Phoenix area; it makes an exciting finish to the 2009-2010 Gammage season.

This tour stops in Tempe for just five days, June 15-20. Don't miss this celebrated, groundbreaking musical. Purchase tickets at

JUST ANNOUNCED! Lin-Manuel Miranda will perform both matinees of the Gammage run!


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From This Author Tim Shawver

Tim Shawver is a Phoenix native and "Arizoni" award winning actor and director. His regional onstage credits include work with Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Childsplay, (read more...)