Official Press Release
NYOY, JACKIE LOU AND K-LA LEAD CAST OF IN THE HEIGHTS
Manila, Philippines – Atlantis Productions, in cooperation with DELTA AIRLINES, continues it’s spectacular 2011 season with the highly anticipated staging of the IN THE HEIGHTS, which runs from September 2 – 18, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
Leading the cast of the hit musical are acoustic Balladeer and songwriter NyoyVolante, one of the country’s most versatile film and television actresses Jackie Lou Blanco and upcoming singer/actress and MYX MJ K-La Rivera.
Nyoy Volante has always been vocal about his love for musical theatre. He has performed with Atlantis Productions in shows such as THE ROCKY HORRORSHOW, DREAMGIRLS, HAIRSPRAY, for which he received critical acclaim as Seaweed J. Stubbs, and, most recently, as Emmett in LEGALLY BLONDE. Nyoy says, “I’ve always been in love with musical theatre! Whether performing in them or merely watching them, I find the degree of technique and expertise outstanding! Also, it never fails to produce a certain kind of bond and fellowship between cast members so, more often than not, you’re bound to end up having lot’s of newly found friends!”
Nyoy takes on his biggest role to date as Usnavi, the Washington Heights bodega owner who dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic, in the hit musical with a hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music infused score by Tony Award winner Lin Manuel Miranda. Nyoy says of IN THE HEIGHTS, “It’s fresh! Hip hop,rap, the latin flavor. Definitely one of a kind! Thank goodness Broadway just keeps coming up with stuff to wow us with. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius!”
IN THE HEIGHTS marks Jackie Lou Blanco’s first musical stage role and also her first time to do an English language play. She says, “This is a show of firsts forme! It is my first musical. My first English language production. And my firstshow with Atlantis. I am very excited!” She plays the role of Camila, mother of Nina (played by K-La Rivera). She describes her character, “Camila is a woman of strong character trying to handle difficulties the family faces but always trying to keep her family together.”
Asked what her biggest challenge in the musical is, Jackie Lou says, “The singingis definitely my biggest challenge, as I know singing is not my genius!”
K-La Rivera was a finalist on the recent talent competition STAR POWER and was recently selected to join the MYX family as one of their new VJ’s. Many see K-La’s star quickly rising in the entertainment industry. Asked what attracted her to auditioning for IN THE HEIGHTS, she says, “I really wanted the chance to experience the life and disciplined training it takes to be a Musical Theatre performer. I’m excited because this is the first time this Tony Award winning musical will be performed outside of the United States. It’s a huge honor for me to be a part of this musical alongside some of the best national and even international performers here in the Philippines. With rehearsals already undergoing, this will be a big stepping stone for me with not only singing, but performing in all aspects whether singing, acting and dancing.”
K-La plays Nina Rosario, the 19-year old Stanford student who returns to her old neighborhood with some surprising news. K-La says, “This is a character I can relate to and internalize, as I moved from Canada when I was 18 to pursue my dreams of being a performer here in the Philippines, with the greatest amount of support behind me from my family and friends back home. It is very true when they say, “Everything happens for a reason” as I believe God allows everything to happen in our life with a purpose behind it. My sincere thanks toBackroom Entertainment for introducing me to Atlantis Productions, most especially Direk Bobby Garcia and Ms. Chari Arespacochaga.”
Director Bobby Garcia, who directs IN THE HEIGHTS after receiving critical acclaim for his staging of NEXT TO NORMAL, says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the cast that we have assembled for IN THE HEIGHTS. They are some of the most talented performers in the country. They all come from different parts of the entertainment industry and that always makes it more exciting. I couldn’timagine a better cast than who we have.”
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. It is the winner of three Tony Awards including BEST MUSICAL.
Joining them in an all-star cast that includes Ima Castro, Tex Ordonez, CalvinMillado, Felix Rivera, Jay Glorioso and Jimmy Marquez among many others.
The Manila premiere of IN THE HEIGHTS is made possible through a special licensing arrangement with Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals and Broadway Asia Entertainment. For tickets call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078 or 840-1187.