Lin-Manuel Miranda is reaching back into the In the Heights memory books for his Hamilton casts, as it has just been announced that Mandy Gonzalez will take over the role of Angelica Schuyler on Broadway in October and Joshua Henry will open the Chicago production of the show as Aaron Burr. We take a look at favorite performances from each of the performers as we await their first bows.
Though Gonzalez made her Broadway debut with Aida, she burst onto the scene in 2008 when she played Nina in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning In the Heights—a role for which she won a Drama Desk Award. Before she steps into the shoes of Angelica Schuyler, replacing Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, we took a look back at some of her most impressive performances.
This song became her signature, as it was her first solo from In the Heights. “Breathe” introduced us to Nina, the promising young student floundering to find herself.
“How to Return Home”
Songwriters Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk featured Gonzalez during their You Made This Tour. Gonzalez performed the tune at New York City’s (le) Poisson Rouge.
Gonzalez played the green girl on Broadway from March 2010-January 2011. Listen to her tenderness in the opening of this version of the infamous anthem.
“Don’t Rain on My Parade”
Taking on the climactic number from Funny Girl, Gonzalez proves her vocal prowess in this performance during the concert Broadway Sings for Amigos de Jesus. If nothing else, fast forward to the 2:00 mark. You won’t be sorry.
The actress shows off the full range of her chops in this video with Seth Rudetsky.
“When You’re Home”
To commemorate the anniversary of In the Heights’ closing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Gonzalez re-joined her co-star (and Hamilton’s George Washington) Christopher Jackson at a #Ham4Ham performance. Their Heights duet was a highlight of the show. No doubt it will be fun for the two to reunite on the Rodgers stage when Gonzalez joins the Hamilton cast.
Joshua Henry just wrapped his run as Noble Sissle in Broadway’s Shuffle Along, but the actor has been wowing us with his voice for years. Coincidentally, Henry made his Broadway debut in In the Heights as an ensemble member understudying the role of Benny, played by Jackson. Now, the actor will open as Chicago’s Aaron Burr in Miranda’s Hamilton. Henry’s Shuffle Along co-star, Brandon Victor-Dixon, will take on that same role in the Broadway production of Hamilton beginning in August.
We unearthed this gem from Henry and Tony winner Patina Miller. His soulful, smooth tone will pay off when he takes on Burr’s “Wait for It.” Fast forward to 2:10 for some particularly great runs from Henry.
“Wheels of a Dream”
Here, Henry melts the crowd with his performance of the song from Ragtime (originally sung by another Shuffle Along co-star, Brian Stokes Mitchell, as Broadway’s first Coalhouse Walker, Jr.).
“Behind These Walls”
The gentleness in his voice from this performance of Scott Alan’s song at 54 Below is just one thing we love about Henry and will pay off when he sings “Dear, Theodosia” as Burr.
“Go Back Home”
Henry was Tony-nominated for his performance as Haywood Patterson in Broadway’s The Scottsboro Boys. Here, at the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Vineyard Theatre—where Scottsboro got its start—he sings his heartbreaking solo. (Fast forward to 1:10 for the start of the song.)
“A Natural Woman”
At MCC’s annual Miscast gala, Henry takes on Carole King—a role he could never play— with backup vocals from Jessie Mueller.