Beltran Is Usnavi in Heights Tour; Toro, Jacobs, Santora and More Announced

By Kenneth Jones
25 Sep 2009

Kyle Beltran and Arielle Jacobs
Kyle Beltran and Arielle Jacobs

Lights up on Kyle Beltran, Rogelio Douglas Jr., Natalie Toro, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, among others, in the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights. Casting for the touring troupe was announced Sept. 25.

The tour will launch Oct. 27 at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Newcomer Beltran will play narrator Usnavi, who takes the audience on a tour of a couple of days in the life of Washington Heights, the Latino community in northern Manhattan. Beltran, a recent Carnegie Mellon grad, appeared in 10 Things To Do Before I Die (Second Stage), Kingdom (Old Globe), Aida (WVPT) and workshops of Clueless (New Group), Fortress of Solitude (CTG), Choir Boy (MTC), Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, Bubble Boy (ASCAP/PCLO).

The new company includes performers plucked from the Broadway production's ensemble, plus newcomers to the 'hood. The tour of In the Heights will feature Daniel Bolero (Kevin), Little Mermaid veteran Rogelio Douglas Jr. (Benny), Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Vanessa), Arielle Jacobs (Nina), Jose-Luis Lopez (Graffiti Pete), Genny Lis Padilla (Carla), Isabel Santiago (Daniela), Elise Santora (Abuela Claudia), Shaun Taylor-Corbett (Sonny) and A Tale of Two Cities actress Natalie Toro (Camila).

Rounding out the cast are Sandy Alvarez, David Baida, Christina Black, Natalie Caruncho, Oscar Cheda, Dewitt Cooper III, Daniel Cruz, Wilkie Ferguson, Kristina Fernandez, Rayanne Gonzales, Dominique Kelley, Rebecca Kritzer, Morgan Matayoshi, Joseph Morales, April Ortiz and Carlos Salazar.

In the Heights won four 2008 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score, and the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

In the Heights, which continues at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, "tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood — a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, 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, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind."

With a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes and conceived by composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights is directed by the Joseph A. Callaway Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail.

In the Heights is produced by Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Jill Furman Willis, Sander Jacobs, Robyn Goodman/Walt Grossman, Peter Fine and Sonny Everett/Mike Skipper with associate producers Ruth Hendel and Harold Newman.

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