PHOTO CALL: John Herrera, Natalie Toro and Joseph Morales Star in Utah Premiere of In the Heights

By Matthew Blank
September 17, 2012

Broadway's John Herrera and Natalie Toro are among cast members of the Utah premiere of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights at Pioneer Theatre Company's home in Salt Lake City Sept. 14-29.

Toro, who plays Nina's mother Camila, appeared in Broadway's A Tale of Two Cities and Les Misérables. Herrera, who plays Nina's father Kevin, starred in developmental steps of In the Heights, including the 2007 Off-Broadway premiere. His Broadway credits include the revivals of Man of La Mancha. Threepenny Opera and 1776, plus the original production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.



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The cast
Photo by Alexander Weisman



The company, under the direction of Matt August, also includes Joseph Morales as Usnavi, Anthony Martinez as Sonny, Debra Cardonas as Abuela, Emily Vasquez as Nina, Natalie Hill as Daniella, Joshua Boone as Benny, Manoly Farrell as Vanessa, Paul Aguirre as Piraugua Guy, Carleton Bluford as Graffiti Pete, Lauren Sambataro, Sydni Beaudoin, William Cooper Howell, Ariana Escalante as Carla, Robin Auva'a, Sara Kae Childs, David Guy Holmes, Christopher Squires and Victoria de Altamirano.

The creative team includes choreographer Bob Richard, musical director Helen Gregory, set and costume designer Skip Mercier, lighting designer Paul Miller and sound designer Matthew Tibbs.

In the Heights, a snapshot of the friends, family, lovers and neighbors in the changing Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, won the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score (Lin-Manuel Miranda), and was nominated for Best Book (Quiara Alegría Hudes). It was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The show was conceived by Miranda, who also created the role of the show's charming narrator-guide, a bodega operator named Usnavi.

Here's PTC bills the Latin-beat-filled pop musical: "In Washington Heights, New York, three generations of Latino immigrants dream of succeeding in America while at the same time holding onto their culture and heritage. An uplifting and joyous celebration of life, In the Heights shows us a world that is at once exotic and different from our own but filled with the same dreams shared by us all."

Librettist Hudes won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her play Water By the Spoonful.

Performances play Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT. For more information, visit pioneertheatre.org.