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CASTING AND ARTISTIC STAFF ANNOUNCED FOR
IN THE HEIGHTS
PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE’S SEASON OPENER
BY HAMILTON’S LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA,
SEPTEMBER 9 – OCTOBER 16 AT STAGE 773
Once Again, Porchlight Introduces Chicago’s New Music Theatre Talent Discoveries Alongside Established Artists in this Latest Creation by
Multi Award-Winning Director/Choreographer Brenda Didier
Amid all the Hamilton mania, Porchlight Music Theatre is launching a stellar choice for a season opener, the multi-Tony Award-winning In The Heights, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda! You won't even have to break out a sleeping bag and wait all night in line for tickets. We do suggest you book in advance though. Porchlight is a perennial favorite and shows do sell out.
Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the cast and artistic staff of Porchlight’s 22nd season opener, the multi-Tony Award-winning In The Heights, September 9 – October 16, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Directed and co-choreographed by Brenda Didier, co-choreographed by Chris Carter, music directed by Diana Lawrence and assistant directed by Adrian Abel Azevedo, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept 11 at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. with opening night Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m.
The regular performance times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with an added Thursday matinee, October 6 at 1:30 p.m. There are no 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday, Sept. 15 and Oct. 6 and no 4 p.m. performance Saturday, Sept. 17. Tickets for previews are $38 and for the regular run $43 - $51. Single tickets may be purchased at 773.327.5252 or at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.
Subscriptions to the entire Mainstage season or Porchlight’s series, Porchlight Revisits, are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season. Subscriptions are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.
From the creator of the current Broadway juggernaut Hamilton, and winner of Tony Awards for “Best Musical” and “Best Original Score,” In the Heights tells the universal story of a tight-knit community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood—a place where 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 and dreams, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
“After an exhaustive audition process seeing hundreds of the Chicago-area’s diverse established and new music theatre talent, and even reaching out to our city’s vast hip-hop dance community, we are excited to introduce the cast of Chicago’s newest production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s revelatory musical,” said Artistic Director Michael Weber. “We have made every effort to present a company that reflects the true spirit of this story of community and family as we build an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience that will place our audiences right in the middle of all the excitement and music found in the barrio of Washington Heights. Featuring a cast of nineteen actors, the largest company in many years here at Porchlight, all but one of our actors is making their Porchlight Mainstage debut with this production.”
The Porchlight Music Theatre In the Heights acting company includes:
Missy Aguilar as “Daniela;” Stephen Allen as “Benny;” Frankie Leo Bennett as “Sonny,” Leah Davis as “Carla;” Jordan DeBose as “Kevin Rosario;” Jack DeCesare as “Usnavi De La Vega;” Stan DeCwikel, Jr. as “El Piraguero;” Lucia Godinez as “Nina;” Kristopher Knighton as “Graffiti Pete;” Michelle Lauto as “Vanessa;” Isabel Quintero as “Abuela Claudia” and Keely Vasquez as “Camila Rosario” with Anthony Apodaca, Nicole Lambert, Cisco Lopez, Yando Lopez, Elena Romanowski, Travis Austin Wright and Demi Zaino in the ensemble.
The artistic and production staff of In the Heights includes:
Brenda Didier, direction and co-choreography; Chris Carter, co-choreography; Diana Lawrence, music direction; Gregory Pinsoneault, scenic design; Kate Setzer Kamphausen, costume design; Denise Karczewski, lighting design, Robert Hornbostel, sound design; Mealah Heidenreich, properties design; Adrian Abel Azevedo, assistant direction; William Carlos Angulo, casting consultation; Jessica Forella, stage management and Aaron Shapiro, production management.
ABOUT LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, music and lyrics
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American actor, composer, rapper and writer, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. A MacArthur “Genius” award recipient, Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the musical In the Heights, which earned him numerous accolades, including the 2008 Tony Award for “Best Original Score” and the 2009 Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album.” Miranda's performance in the show's lead role of “Usnavi” also earned him a nomination for the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” and the show won “Best Musical.” Miranda created the lead role of “Alexander Hamilton” in Hamilton, a musical for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics—and which earned the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2016 Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album.” Miranda received the 2016 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award for his work in the role. Hamilton was nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards of which it won 11, including “Best Musical.” Miranda also won the Tony Award for “Best Original Score” and “Best Book of a Musical” for Hamilton and earned a nomination for the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical.” Miranda will next star in the Mary Poppins sequel Mary Poppins Returns, directed by Rob Marshall.
ABOUT BRENDA DIDER, director and co- choreographer
Brenda Didier, recently named one of the “major musical theater forces” working in the Chicago area, is a multi-award-winning director/choreographer having received Joseph Jefferson Awards for both direction and choreography, After Dark Awards for choreography, the National Youth Theatre Award for choreography and the 2010 Broadway World Chicago Fan Favorite Award for choreography. Didier has collaborated with Porchlight Music Theatre on eleven productions, including Dreamgirls, Ain't Misbehavin' (Jeff Award Best Production and Direction) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as well as How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Pal Joey, Putting It Together, Ragtime and Once on this Island, all of which earned her Jeff nominations. Her additional credits include work with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Second City mainstage and etc., Mercury Theater Chicago, Cirque Shanghai, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Bailiwick Chicago, BoHo Theatre, City Lit, Silk Road Rising, House of Blues, Leo Burnett Worldwide and many industrials and special events. Didier is the owner and director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance where her students have completed programs with American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Austin, The Rock School, River North, Giordano and Hubbard Street summer intensives. She is most proud of her scholarship program, including the Matt Gunnels scholarship, to help struggling families keep their children in dance classes.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 22nd season, is nationally recognized for reimagining classic musical works, introducing never before seen productions to Chicago, showcasing music theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars and developing innovating programming to celebrate and educate audiences about the music theatre genre. With the vision of Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago’s only Equity not-for-profit company exclusively specializing in music theatre. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. In addition to acclaimed productions, Porchlight’s special events include Porchlight Revisits, its staged concert series celebrating “lost” musicals, New Faces Sings, hosted by a popular Chicago music theatre personality and featuring a company of Porchlight up-and-coming talent performing music from the Great White Way as well as from the hottest up-and-coming composers and lyricists and the “Off the Porch” new works program where the next generation of musicals are developed and given a first audience. Launched in 2014, The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation for both adults and children. Porchlight Music theatre’s many accolades include 11 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and two awards, as well as 114 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 35 Jeff Awards including three consecutive Best Production awards for Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Class Act (2013) as well as Sondheim on Sondheim being named to the Chicago Tribune’s list of the “Best Theatre of 2015.”
Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the launch of Porchlight’s 22nd season with the Tony Award-winning In The Heights, September 9 – October 16, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier, music directed by Diana Lawrence, assistant directed by Adrian Abel Azevedo and assistant choreographed by Chris Carter, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept 11 at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. with opening night Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. The regular performance times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with an added Thursday matinee, October 6 at 1:30 p.m. There are no 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday, Sept. 15 and Oct. 6. and no 4 p.m. performance Saturday, Sept. 17. Tickets for previews are $38 and for the regular run $43 - $51. Single tickets may be purchased at 773.327.5252 or at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org. Subscriptions to the entire Mainstage season or Porchlight’s series, Porchlight Revisits, are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season. Subscriptions are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.
Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Cooper’s: A Neighborhood Eatery and The Saints. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.