Musicals at Richter

See you under the stars soon!

In The Heights

July 3-18

Director & Choreographer
Matthew Farina

Musical Director
Andrew Gadwah
 

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Winner of 3 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score

IN THE HEIGHTS 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.
 


CAST 

All roles are available; Latinx and multiethnic candidates are encouraged to audition. Age ranges are suggested.

Usnavi de la Vega (18-35; baritenor) Owner of De La Vega Bodega.  An emigrant from the Dominican Republic and the narrator of the show. Youthful, awkward, and sincere owner of a convenience store. Urban, articulate, funny, harbors a crush on the local salon beauty, yet has made no attempt to act on that. Not a “cool stud,” but charming and lovable. Must rap well.

Nina Rosario (18-early 20s; mezzo-soprano)  A righteous young woman who’s always been a straight A student. Nina has just finished her freshman year at Stanford University. She is the daughter of Kevin and Camilia Rosario. She puts a lot of pressure on herself because she is the only member of her family and friends who made it to college. She is best friends with Vanessa and a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who know her. She represents the opportunities outside of “the Heights.”

Kevin Rosario (40+; baritenor) Puerto Rican born father to Nina. Owns and runs a taxi dispatch with his wife, Camila. Traditional, hard-working Latin father, over-protective, loving, but also has a temper. He can be quick to act without considering the repercussions of his actions. 

Camila Rosario (40+; alto) Strong-willed wife and business partner to Kevin, and mother to Nina. She typically defers to Kevin, but steps up to voice her opinion when their family’s future is on the line. She is cool-headed yet keeps a subtle but strong leash on Kevin. 

Benny (18-30; tenor) African-American. Usnavi’s tenacious and confident best friend and the dispatcher at Rosario Taxi. Very ambitious. Handsome, bright, and crushing on the “boss’s daughter,” Nina. Must rap well.

Vanessa (18-30; strong dancer, mezzo soprano with strong belt) Love interest of Usnavi and a stylist at the local salon. With a troubled home life, she wishes to get out to get somewhere better. She appears strong,but is in reality very vulnerable. Tired of cat-calls and empty promises, she is looking for true love and respect. 

Sonny (18-30; tenor up to Bb) Young, wise, and wittily-humored cousin to Usnavi. Tough and smart Dominican with big plans for himself and his neighborhood. He is street smart, cares about his loved ones, and strives to emulate his older cousin. A comedian. Must rap well.

Abuela Claudia (50+; alto) A Cuban immigrant, Claudia and her mother came to the U.S. to find work and a better life, but only found the former. She has lived in Washington Heights the longest out of all the characters. Claudia is the beloved neighborhood matriarch, and takes care of everyone with compassion, wisdom and devotion. Raised Usnavi, though not his blood grandmother.

Daniela (35+; alto, moves well) Daniela is the Puerto Rican owner of the neighborhood salon. Loves a good “chisme” (gossip). Savvy to say the least, she is quick witted, brassy and outspoken. She knows everything that is going on in the Barrio. Her tough-as-painted-nails exterior disguises the generous spirit revealed in her support of others. 

Carla (18-30; strong belt up to D5; moves well) The bubbly, funny, sidekick and best friend to Daniela. Devoutly religious, she is upbeat, sweet, and innocent. The supportive friend of the salon trio, frequently plays into being “air headed.” A comedienne. 

Graffiti Pete (18-30, any vocal range) Young and slick graffiti artist of the neighborhood and the nemesis of Usnavi. Has a good heart. He views his work as art and wants to make a difference, while making a living. Good dance skills (hip hop and break dancing). Must rap well.

Piragüero (Piragua Guy) (Any age; tenor) The town crier. Selling shaved ice from a cart, his soaring tenor voice and daily grind reflect the daily lives of the neighborhood who “keep scraping by.” Charismatic and pivotal to the plot. Good sense of humor and a great sense of self pride.  scrapes piraguas from his block of ice. 

Ensemble (Various ages, multiethnic) Interesting and diverse people of the community of all physical types. This “chorus” of residents have stories of their own and great pride for their ancestors.

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Matthew Farina: Director / Choreographer 

Matthew is excited to mark his directorial return at Musicals at Richter with In The Heights after having previously directed/choreographed Hairspray (OnStage Critics Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical) and Footloose (CT/Westchester, NY Community Theatre’s Top 10 of 2016 by onstageblog categories: Musical, Direction, and Male Performance (Ren)).  He is the director of the musicals at Immaculate High School in Danbury and is so proud of the recognition and accolades that program has garnered for excellence in high school theater.  Most recently, Matthew received a Special Achievement Award for his innovative work on Pippin from the Broadway Method Academy Stephen Sondheim Awards 2019.  He has choreographed and performed in several community theaters in western Connecticut including the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, TheatreWorks New Milford, and Brookfield Theatre for the Arts.  Matthew added playwright to his resume when his original immersive theater production, told exclusively through dance and movement, titled A Tale Of Woe: the story of Juliet and Romeo, was performed.  He was the 2017-2018 Redding, CT Teacher of the Year where he is the Gifted and Talented instructor.  Matthew would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support in coming to see his productions.  

Andrew Gadwah: Music Director

Andrew Gadwah is the choral director at New Fairfield High School and Middle School, where he also music directs the school theater productions (recent credits include The Pajama Game, Cinderella, and The Addams Family). He has music directed and/or played keyboard for  shows at a variety of school and community theaters, including Joel Barlow High School (Les Miserables, Working), Wilton High School (Newsies), and Castle Craig Players in his hometown of Meriden, CT (Cabaret, Hello Dolly!, Avenue Q). He is excited to be at the helm music directing In The Heights here at Richter, after first working working with the team here playing keyboard in the pit for last summer’s Shrek! Andrew earned his undergraduate degree in music education from WCSU, and a Master’s degree in choral conducting from Hartt. He currently lives in Wilton with his amazing fiancee Malene and their wonderful dog Josie.

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