In The Heights

May 29 - June 28, 2020

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. In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.

 

Character Breakdown:

Usnavi De La Vega – Baritone with very strong, clear rap narrative skills (to G4) – early 20’s to late 20’s.  Youthful, awkward, funny, charismatic leading man with tremendous heart. Owner of De La Vega’s Bodega, his parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic and have since passed away. Usnavi is in love with Vanessa and remains the eyes and ears of his Washington Heights neighborhood.

Ethnicity: Latino / Hispanic

Nina Rosario – High belter (to F5), very strong singer, moves well – 18 to early 20’s.  Nina has just finished her freshman year at Stanford University. She is the daughter of Kevin and Camila Rosario. Nina is the only member of her family and friends who made it to college. A beacon of hope and inspiration to all who know her; she represents the opportunity outside of “the Heights.”

Ethnicity: Latina / Hispanic

Kevin Rosario – Baritone (to E4) – Late 30’s to 50’s. Hard exterior and owner of Rosario Car and Limousine, Kevin is a husband to Camila and father to Nina. While Kevin was born and raised in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, he immigrated to New York City with Camila. Kevin immediately started working to provide a better life for his newly arrived family. Is stubborn, hot tempered at times and can be quick to act without thoughts of repercussions.

Ethnicity: Latino / Hispanic

Camila Rosario – Belter (G3 to B4) – Late 30s to 50’s. She is the co-owner of Rosario Car and Limousine with her husband Kevin. Also, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, she fell in love with Kevin at 19 and immigrated with him to New York City. She is cool-headed yet keeps a subtle but strong leash on Kevin. Her daughter Nina has just returned for the summer from her first year at Stanford.

Ethnicity: Latina / Hispanic

Benny – Singer/rapper, must move well, Bari-tenor (to Ab4) – Early to Mid-20s. Hardworking, good guy. Now a cab driver for Rosario Car and Limousine, he once was a street punk and hoodlum, often finding himself in trouble. Kevin saw promise in Benny and helped shape him into a responsible, hard-working young man. Benny has enormous respect for Kevin and sees him as a father figure. Eventually falling in love with Nina, Benny sees a future for them by becoming a businessman.

Ethnicity: Any Ethnicity, except Latino/Hispanic

Vanessa – Must be strong dancer; high belter (to E5) – Early to late 20s. Shampoo girl at Daniela’s Salon, Vanessa is strong, intelligent and grew up with Benny and Usnavi. Though Usnavi would like to be something more than Vanessa’s “friend”, he has never made any attempt. Vanessa dreams of leaving to create her own life.

Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Sonny – Rapper/tenor (to Bb4) – a strong mover / rap skills. 15-19 years old. Young, smart‐alecky, wise and dry cousin to Usnavi. Tough and smart Dominican, passionate to solve the social and economic problems of the city. Must have great comedy chops.

Ethnicity: Latino / Hispanic

Abuela Claudia – Alto belter (F#3 to C5) – In her late 60’s to 70’s, she raised Usnavi after his parents passed away and continues to live with him. She emigrated from Cuba when she was very young. Of all the characters, Abuela Claudia has been in “The Heights” the longest. She struggled to learn English, struggled to find work and in turn has helped others who have followed in her path. She is clearly the matriarch of the neighborhood. A powerful actress, singer and storyteller. Can be played by a younger actor (40s-50s) and aged up for the show.

Ethnicity: Latina / Hispanic

Daniela – Belter (G3 to C5) – age 30’s. Spanish speaking a plus – tough on the surface, compassionate underneath; good belt; good dancer. In her thirties, she is the owner of Daniela’s Salon. Savvy, quick witted, brassy and outspoken. Gossip queen of the neighborhood. No-nonsense, she has built a successful business but is being forced out of the neighborhood because of the rent hikes. Must have great comedy chops and timing.

Ethnicity: Latina / Hispanic

Carla – Mezzo – innocent; good at playing “dizzy or bird‐brained”, strong dancer – early to mid-20’s. She is a hairdresser at Daniela’s salon. Born and raised in Queens, she is a pure, sweet, innocent and loving young woman who is devoted to her family and friends though she is easily taken advantage of because of her naivety. Sidekick to Daniella.

Ethnicity: Latina / Hispanic

Graffiti Pete – Rapper/singer – very strong dancer; hip-hop a plus – 18 to late 20’s. Young, slick, graffiti artist of the neighborhood. Slightly shady, but with a good heart. He doesn’t see his “art” as a bad thing, wants to make a difference while making a living. Need an excellent hip‐hop or break dancer.

Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Piragua Guy – tenor (must have sustainable A4) – ANY AGE. He walks the hot and humid streets of Washington Heights selling piraguas (flavored ice shavings) to earn a living. He represents a rhythm of the islands in the big city.

Ethnicity: Latino / Hispanic

DANCER’S (SINGING/NON-SINGING) & ENSEMBLE: Residents of Washington Heights, Men and women to play ages 18-30’s. Interesting and diverse people of the community of all shapes and sizes. This “chorus” of residents have stories of their own and are just as important as the principal roles. More than just great singers and dancers, these people have tremendous strength, vulnerability, history, humor, sass, love, and pride for their ancestors. Spanish speaking is a plus. Seeking incredible dancers who sing well, as well as dancers who may not sing all that well.  We will be supplementing dancer’s with off-stage singers or “Pit Singers”.  Dancers and Ensemble must be comfortable with street jazz, hip-hop and Latin dance styles.

Ethnicity: ALL ETHNICITIES

OFF STAGE SINGERS – Anywhere from 3 to 6 singers needed – ALL AGES. “Pit Singers” will be needed to sing off stage for this production. There will perhaps be a chance to appear on stage during productions in brief moments depending on final casting. They will only attend music rehearsals/music reviews in the beginning and will rejoin the cast at some point once we start stumble/full run thru’s.

Ethnicity: ALL ETHNICITIES – ALL AGES