Librettist of New Musical In the Heights Goes into Labor at Theatre

News   Librettist of New Musical In the Heights Goes into Labor at Theatre Quiara Alegría Hudes — who penned the book for the new Off-Broadway musical In the Heights — went into labor at 6:30 PM Jan. 31 at the show's venue, 37 Arts.

Director Thomas Kail accompanied Hudes via taxi (hailed by star Christopher Jackson) to the hospital "just minutes after [she had] put the finishing touches on her book for the new musical," according to a statement. Minutes after that evening's preview performance (at 10:30 PM), the show's composer Lin-Manuel Miranda received visual proof (photos sent via cell phone) of Hudes' newborn baby girl.

The six pound, six ounce first child of Hudes with husband Ray Beauchamp arrived three weeks before her due date.

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The original musical began previews Jan. 9 Off-Broadway at 37 Arts. Kail directs and Andy Blankenbuehler choreographs the work to open Feb. 8. Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman produce.

With a book by Hudes and a score by Miranda, In the Heights follows "two days in the life of Washington Heights, a vibrant and tight-knit neighborhood at the top of Manhattan," according to the producers. "From the vantage point of Usnavi's corner bodega, we experience the joys, heartbreaks and bonds of a Latino community struggling to redefine home." Mandy Gonzalez (Aida, Dance of the Vampires), Priscilla Lopez (Anna in the Tropics, A Chorus Line), Olga Merediz (Mamma Mia!, Reckless) and composer Miranda in the role of Usnavi are featured in a cast with Andrea Burns (Beauty and the Beast), Janet Dacal (Good Vibrations), John Herrera (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Christopher Jackson (The Lion King), Robin de Jesus (Rent) and Karen Olivo (Brooklyn, Rent).

The ensemble also includes Rosie Fiedelman, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Joshua Henry, Nina Lafarga, Doreen Montalvo, Javier Munoz, Eliseo Roman, Luis Salgado, Seth Stewart, Rickey Tripp, Michael Balderrama and Stephanie Klemons.

The musical features a mix of hip-hop, salsa, merengue music mixed with a little of Miranda's other influence: Broadway.

Tickets for In the Heights at 37 Arts, 450 West 37th Street, are available by calling (212) 307-4100. For more information, visit intheheightsthemusical.com.

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