NC Theatre Announces Cast For IN THE HEIGHTS

North Carolina Theatre, the region's premiere nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce casting for its first production of the 2018-19 season, Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, playing Oct. 16-21 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

From the creator of Hamilton, 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.

Starring in the role of Usnavi, the Dominican-American bodega owner, is Andres Quintero. Quintero boasts television and film credits including Madam Secretary, Law & Order: SVU, and more. His previous theatre credits include regional productions of In the Heights, Rent, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the national tour of Altar Boyz.

Danny Bolero will portray Kevin Rosario, the overprotective father of "good girl" Nina. Bolero previously starred as Kevin on Broadway, with other Broadway credits including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (revival), Man of La Mancha (tour) and regional productions of Evita, Selena, and Nine.

Michael Balderrama will direct and choreograph NC Theatre's production of In the Heights. Balderrama's previous Broadway credits include the first and second national tours of In the Heights, West Side Story, Saturday Night Fever, and Ghost. Michael has taught and choreographed in over 60 states and countries on four continents and has worked with artists including Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Bruno Mars, and Sutton Foster.

"I'm thrilled to be directing and choreographing NC Theatre's season opening production of In the Heights," said Balderrama. "This story is relevant and needed now more than ever. The show tells the struggles and difficulties immigrants and their children face, but the story is universal. How do we remember and honor our heritage and those who sacrificed for us in the past, while forging our own path against the obstacles that face us every day? I know the Raleigh audience will be touched by the story and infected by the music and choreography so deeply, they won't be able to help but get on their feet and dance along!"

Portraying Nina Rosario, the "girl who made it out" and a first generation college student, is Cristina Sastre. Like Balderrama, for whom she has previously played the role twice, Sastre feels the show is important because of its focus on strength of community while proudly depicting the lives of immigrants and their children. As a Latina who grew up in northern California, she says the role will always have a special place in her heart.

Other principals include David Guzman (Graffiti Pete), coming straight to In the Heights from Broadway's Hamilton; Genny Lis Padilla (Daniela), with previous credits including the first national tour of In the Heights; Nick Sanchez (Benny) who recently starred in Escape to Margaritaville on Broadway; Nicole Paloma Sarro (Abuela Claudia); Reed Lorenzo Shannon (Sonny), television star and NC Theatre Conservatory alum; Carly Prentis Jones (Camila Rosario); Elizabeth M. Quesada (Carla); and Melanie Sierra (Vanessa).

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Adamek, Josie Bodle, Jurä Davis, Alexander Domingue, Greer Gisy who also serves and the associate director and associate choreographer for this production, Sai Graham, Michael John Hughes, Christina Austin Lopez, Michael Schimmele (Piragua Guy), Travis Staton-Marrero, and Carlita Victoria.

In the Heights will open Tuesday, Oct. 16 and run through Sunday, Oct. 21 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Visit nctheatre.com to purchase tickets or call (919) 831-6941. For groups of 10 or more, call (919) 831-6941 x6949.

About North Carolina Theatre

Established in 1984, North Carolina Theatre is Raleigh's premier, non-profit professional regional theatre. With its successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent, North Carolina Theatre has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh over the years. Through its conservatory, it has provided exceptional arts training to hundreds of local youth. By offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth, the organization continues to fortify the cultural vitality of the region. North Carolina Theatre is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

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