Joseph Morales, John Herrera & More Set for Pioneer Theatre Company's IN THE HEIGHTS, 9/14-29

Joseph Morales, John Herrera & More Set for Pioneer Theatre Company's IN THE HEIGHTS, 9/14-29

Pioneer Theatre Company presents the Regional Premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, September 14 through September 29, 2012, at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre. In the Heights, winner of the 2008 Tonys for Best Musical and Best Score, was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In Washington Heights, New York, three generations of Latino immigrants dream of succeeding in America while at the same time holding onto their culture and heritage. An uplifting and joyous celebration of life, In the Heights shows us a world that is at once exotic and different from our own but filled with the same dreams shared by us all.

"I saw In the Heights in New York City and was completely taken in by its energy, heart and soul,” says new PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “I was delighted that we were one of the first regional theatres in the country to get the rights to the show. I also knew I had the perfect artistic team to create In the Heights for PTC: Director Matt August and Choreographer Bob Richard, both of whose work I have admired for years.”

The principal cast is comprised of Joseph Morales as Usnavi, John Herrera as Kevin, JOSHUA BOONE as Benny,Emily Vasquez as Nina, Anthony Ramos MARTINEZ as Sonny, Debra Cardona as Abuela Claudia, Manoly Farrellas Vanessa, Natalie Toro as Camila, and Natalie Hill as  Daniela.

In addition to starring as Usnavi in the first national tour of In the Heights, Joseph Morales also appeared in national tours for Bombay Dreams, and Henry and Mudge, and in workshops for Broadway’s Bring it On and Rock of Ages. This is his PTC debut.

The show will play Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m. and Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located at 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $38 - $59 ($5 more day of show). Children in grades K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays. Box Office: (801) 581-6961, open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri or visit

John Herrera originated the role of Kevin Rosario, Nina’s hard-working father, in In the Heights Off-Broadway. He has an impressive Broadway career including roles in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Neville), Evita (Che), Grease, 1776, Camelot, Man of La Mancha and The Threepenny Opera. His national tours include Chess, Falsettos, Les Misérables and Angels in America. This is his PTC debut.

JOSHUA BOONE debuts at PTC playing Benny who falls in love with Nina while working at her father’s car service. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, and his credits include Central Avenue Breakdown (MYMF/DIMF) and Felony Friday (NY Fringe Encores).

Emily Vasquez plays Nina Rosario, the star of the neighborhood who returns to Washington Heights humbled by the difficulty of her first year at Stanford and sees a potential future with Benny, the young man who works for her father. She most recently appeared on TV in The Glee Project. This is her PTC debut.

Anthony Ramos MARTINEZ plays Sonny, Usnavi’s cousin seeking a better life. Martinez was in the national tour of Damn Yankees.

Debra Cardona returns to PTC (Light in the Piazza) as Abuela Claudia, the guiding maternal figure who is the heart of the community of Washington Heights. She was most recently seen in SLC in the national tour of Mary Poppins (Miss Lark). Her New York productions include Madison Square Garden’s A Christmas Carol: The Musical, and Bingo (Off-Broadway). Her national tours include My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Manoly Farrell debuts at PTC as Vanessa, Usnavi’s love interest. She has appeared on Broadway in Leap of Faith and in the workshop for the same musical. Other credits include West Side Story (Maria), Dreamgirls (Michelle) and Music Man (Zanetta).

Natalie Toro reprises her role of Camila, the co-owner of the neighborhood cab company, from the national tour of In the Heights. Her Broadway credits include A Tale of Two Cities (Madame DeFarge), Les Misérables (Eponine) and A Christmas Carol (Sally). Her national tours also include Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene), Evita (Eva Peron, for which she received a Jeff Award Nomination), Cats (Grisabella) and West Side Story (Rosalia).

Native Utahn Natalie Hill returns to PTC where she played Ellen in Miss Saigon, to play Daniela, the saucy, spicy salon owner of Washington Heights. Her Broadway credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Grease and Wonderland. She was most recently in Las Vegas on the national tour of Jersey Boys, and has also been in national tours for Joseph… and Hairspray. Utah audiences may also remember her from Les Misérables (Eponine-SCERA).

Included in the Equity cast are Paul Aguirre (Piragua Guy), Jeremy McQueen (Graffiti Pete), and ensemble cast members Sydni Beaudoin, local professional Carleton Bluford, and Lauren Sambataro.

Local non-Equity performers include faces new to PTC: VICTORIA De ALTAMIRANO, ROBIN AUVA’A, William Cooper HOWELL and CHRISTOPHER SQUIRES, as well as some returning from previous productions: SARA KAE CHILDS, Ariana Escalante and DAVID GUY HOLMES.

Matt August in his PTC directorial debut, has directed all the Broadway, Los Angeles and national tours of How the Grinch Stole Christmas—the Musical. He was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for directing the new musical LiberTy Smith at Ford’s Theatre in D.C. and has worked at many regional theatres across the country. He has been the Associate/Resident Director on four other Broadway shows.

Bob Richard has been resident choreographer for the past eleven years at Sacramento Music Circus, staging over 27 productions including Les Misérables, and the premiere of the new Footloose. He recently staged the 50th Anniversary production of West Side Story for Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.

Helen Gregory returns to PTC after musically directing RENT, to music direct and conduct this production. Her credits include New York Theatre Workshop, The Vineyard, La Mama E.T.C., Hudson Guild and Maltz-Jupiter, where she won the 2012 Carbonell Award for Best Musical Direction.

G.W. Mercier has designedboth the set and costumes for this show. On Broadway, he designed Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, by Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal. He has a Tony nomination and two Drama Desk nominations. This is his debut at PTC.

Lighting design is by guest designer Paul Miller. His Broadway credits Legally Blonde, Freshly Squeezed, Laughing Room Only, Where’s Charley, Lost in the Stars, Of Thee I Sing and Music in the Air. This is his debut at PTC.

Hair and makeup design (including wigs) is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH; sound design is by PTC resident designer MATTHEW TIBBS.

Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s premier resident professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.


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