The singer will play Nina Rosario, the college student who returns (with a secret) to her Washington Heights neighborhood for the summer. Sparks, 20, will make her Broadway debut Aug. 19 for an engagement through Nov. 14.
"It's always been one of my dreams to perform on Broadway," Sparks said in a statement. "This is a brand new experience for me. I look so forward to spending time in New York City and joining this talented cast and my favorite new musical."
In the Heights is a snapshot of the friends, lovers, families and hope in a changing Latino neighborhood in northern Manhattan.
Sparks is the youngest contestant to ever win "American Idol." She auditioned for the show at age 16. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2007 and went on to sell over 1.6 million copies worldwide and produced three Top 5 hits on Billboard's Pop singles chart including: "Tattoo," "No Air" and "One Step at a Time."
She earned a 2008 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "No Air."
Her second album, "Battlefield," contains the album title hit single and the dance hit "S.O.S (Let the Music Play)."
"American Idol" finalists have fed Broadway shows in recent years: Constantine Maroulis was Tony-nominated for his work in Rock of Ages (and continues in that musical before touring with it). Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young are currently starring in Hair.
Now in its third year at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street), In the Heights is the winner of four 2008 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
For more information, visit www.intheheightsthemusical.com.