Washington, DC - GALA concludes its 41rd main stage season with the U.S. premiere in Spanish of the ground-breaking musical In The Heights. Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, with book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, In The Heights is directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado. Music Director is Walter “Bobby” McCoy. The production will run April 20 through May 21, 2017 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010. Parking is available behind the theatre at the Giant Food garage on Park Road, NW for $4.
While there are surtitles for all performances, which are primarily in Spanish, this production integrates some English to better reflect the use of both languages by the characters. Thus, the surtitles will be in English and Spanish, as appropriate.
This spirited musical by the creator of Hamilton tells a story of the love, hopes and heartbreaks of a tightly knit multicultural community on the brink of change in New York’s Washington Heights. Teeming with vivid neighborhood characters such as the romantically skittish bodega owner, attractive beautician, wise grandmother, and a young student and her culturally different boyfriend, the stage will sizzle with the urban energy of hip hop, salsa, and merengue.
“When I was asked to direct the U.S. premiere in Spanish at GALA by Producing Artistic Director Hugo Medrano,” states director Luis Salgado, “I didn't think twice. I even decided to leave my current Broadway show so I could be with the incredible cast and GALA team through the entire process. This is how much this historic event means to me.
“In The Heights has always lived deep in my soul and a labor of love that goes beyond any traditional "job". It lifts my spirit to work on a show that honors my Latino community in pure celebration of its people and heritage, and that doesn't rely or limit itself with the stereotypical "conflict" of drugs or violence to make great theatre. I hope that this production will inspire and empower audiences at a time when the political tone has denigrated minorities.”
Press Night is Friday, April 21 and Noche de GALA is Saturday, April 22, 2017, under the gracious patronage of the His Excellency José Tomás Pérez, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United States. The production is made possible in part with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency for the National Endowment for the Arts; Target; PNC; Craig Pascal and Victor Shargai; and Arturo and Hilda Brillembourg.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Luis Salgado (Director and Choreographer) is an international director, choreographer and educator based in New York City. He was the Latin Assistant Choreographer of the Tony Award winning musical In The Heights, and recently performed in the Gloria Estefan musical, On Your Feet! on Broadway. Among the productions and festivals he has directed/choreographed in the United States and in other countries are Amigo Duende The Musical, Bountiful, Zuccotti Park, Song of Solomon, In The Heights, Speed The Plow, and Candela Fuerza y Pasión in Lima, Peru. Salgado also choreographed DC-7: La historia de Roberto Clemente at GALA. He has appeared on Broadway in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, ROCKY, and In The Heights, as well as Off-Broadway shows and Broadway try outs The Mambo Kings (Frankie Suárez), Fame on 42nd Street (Joe Vegas, understudy) and Aida, among others. Film credits include: “American Gangster”; “Dirty Dancing 2”, the new television remake of “Dirty Dancing”; and “Enchanted” and “Step Up 2: The Streets” (Alejandro), for which he also was assistant choreographer. Salgado is the founder/C.E.O of R.Evolución Latina, an organization that utilizes the arts to empower the Latino community to discover its full potential.
Walter “Bobby” McCoy (Music Director) is working on his first production at GALA. Other local credits as music director include Blues in the Night, Ruthless! The Musical, Caroline, or Change, and Once on This Island at Creative Caulderon; Bat Boy: The Musical, Altar Boyz, Old Wicked Songs at 1st Stage (2016 Helen Hayes Award – Outstanding Musical Direction). He has also been assistant musical director for Cabaret and National Pastime at Keegan Theatre.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Featured in the cast are New York actors Juan Luis Espinal as Usnavi, who appeared in La Canción at Repertorio Español (2017 ACE Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical); Laura Lebrón as Nina, who originated the role in the Santo Domingo production; Verónica Álvarez Robles as Vanessa, who has appeared in Cabaret and West Side Story; and Vaughn Ryan Midder as Benny from Washington, DC, who appeared in Avenue Q at Constellation Theatre Company (Helen Hayes Award - Outstanding Supporting Actor).
Other cast members are Michelle Ríos (Abuela Claudia); Rafael Beato (Sonny); Scheherazade Quiroga (Daniela); Gabriella Pérez (Carla); Shadia Fairuz (Camila) José Fernando Capellán (Kevin); Felix Marchany (Piragua Guy); and Myriam Gadri (Graffiti Pete).
Ensemble members are Aaron Cobos, Hector Flores Jr., José Manuel Ozuna, Luis Ramos, Nathalia Raigosa, Ximena Salgado, Melinette Pallares, and Amaya Perea.
Scenic design is by Elizabeth J. McFadden, who designed for Crónica de una muerte anunciada and La casa de los espíritus (2013 Helen Hayes Award - Outstanding Set Design nomination). Light design is by Christopher Annas-Lee, who designed Yerma (2016 Helen Hayes Award) and Cervantes-El último Quijote; and Costumes are by Robert Croghan, who designed for Señorita y Madame: The Secret War of Elizabeth Arden & Helena Rubinstein.
Music Director is Walter “Bobby” McCoy, who worked on Old Wicked Songs at 1st Stage (2016 Helen Hayes Award – Outstanding Musical Direction); and Sound Design is by Roc Lee, who designed for Charm at Mosaic Theatre and Mother Courage and Her Children at Arena Stage (2014 Helen Hayes Award - Outstanding Sound Design nomination). Properties are by Tony Koehler, who designed for Pericles and Sense and Sensibility at Folger Shakespeare Theatre.
Amanda Landis is Stage Manager. Heather Hogan is Creative Consultant. Lena Salins is Production Manager, Reuben Rosenthal is Technical Director, and Hugo Medrano is Producer.
Single tickets are $60. Tickets for Senior Citizens (65+), Military, and Students are $40. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more until April 15, 2017. Tickets for Noche de GALA and Artist Reception are $100 per individual, $175 per couple.
FOR TICKETS: Call (202) 234-7174, or visit www.galatheatre.org