Doreen Montalvo, the Broadway favorite who was part of the original ensemble of the Tony-winning musical In the Heights, passed away October 17 following a sudden ailment. She was 56.
Born November 15, 1963, in the Bronx, Ms. Montalvo made her Broadway debut in 2008 in the aforementioned Lin-Manuel Miranda musical at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. A member of the ensemble, she also understudied the roles of Abuela Claudia, Camila, and Daniela and played the Bolero Singer.
Ms. Montalvo was later seen in On Your Feet!, the acclaimed Broadway musical about the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. An ensemble member who also played the roles of Nena and Lucia, she later succeeded Andréa Burns in the role of Gloria Fajardo. Her final Broadway credit was the new musical Mrs. Doubtfire, based on the box-office hit of the same name. She was cast as Janet Lundy in the production, which played three previews at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre before temporarily closing due to the ongoing pandemic.
Ms. Montalvo also starred in the national tours of On Your Feet! and Flashdance the Musical, and her numerous other theatrical credits included the Off-Broadway production of In the Heights, Giant, the world premiere of Jose Cruz Gonzalez' American Mariachi at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and The Old Globe in San Diego, the workshop of the new musical The View Upstairs, Cubamor at New York Live Arts, The Piper at Irish Repertory Theatre, and the solo musical Havana Under the Sea at the Intar Theatre.
Ms. Montalvo's screen credits included Law & Order, One Life to Live, The Good Wife, Smash, Tracked, Elementary, Madam Secretary, and Jack, Jules, Esther & Me. She will also be seen in the upcoming film version of In the Heights, playing the Neighbor Lady and the voice of the Bolero Singer, as well as the remake of West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg. In the latter she will be seen as the Political Activist during "America."
Ms. Montalvo released her debut solo album, American Soul/ Latin Heart, on Broadway Records, and was most recently seen with over 100 Latinx artists in ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Broadway Bridges.
Her honors included the 2011 Spirit Award for Cabaret Cares/Help is On the Way Today, the 2008 Actors Equity ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus for In the Heights, the 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance for In the Heights, and the 2004 Hola Award for Best Actress for Havana Under the Sea.
Ms. Montalvo is survived by her husband, actor Michael Mann, and her stepchildren.