By Kenneth Jones
18 Nov 2008
Harriell has been "previewing" in the role since Saturday, Nov. 15.
The part was originated by Karen Olivo, who is in rehearsals for the new production of West Side Story. Harriell has starred on Broadway in Rent and Lennon, and appeared in the Encores! production of Kismet. Her film work includes Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof." Other theatre credits include Lucky Duck (Old Globe); Little Fish and Sorrows and Rejoicings (Second Stage); and Company (Kennedy Center). Her TV credits include "Queens Supreme," "N.C.I.S." and "Ed."
Olivo will play Anita in the new Broadway production of West Side Story in early 2009. It will play a tryout in Washington, DC. She exited In the Heights on Oct. 26 and the role of sexy Vanessa was played by understudies until Harriell's first show.
The musical won four 2008 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda won the 2008 Tony for Best Music and Lyrics, Andy Blankenbuehler won the 2008 Tony for Best Choreography, and Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations. The book is by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes, and conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail directs; Alex Lacamoire is music director.
In the Heights also features Andréa Burns, Janet Dacal, Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús, Carlos Gomez, Mandy Gonzalez, Christopher Jackson, Priscilla Lopez, Tony Award nominee Olga Merediz, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Seth Stewart leading a cast of 29 that features Tony Chiroldes, Noemi Del Rio, Rosie Lani Fiedelman, Marcus Paul James, Nina Lafarga, Doreen Montalvo, Javier Muñoz, Krysta Rodriguez, Eliseo Román, Luis Salgado, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Rickey Tripp, Michael Balderrama, Blanca Camacho, Joshua Henry, Stephanie Klemons, Dawn Noel Pignuola, and Marcos Santana.