We open the regional professional premiere of IN THE HEIGHTS at Cabrillo Music Theatre this Friday! Featuring original choreography by Andy Blankenbueller, original 13-piece orchestrations that haven't been heard/played since Broadway, costumes from Broadway and the 1st & 2nd National Tours, all on the backdrop of the 2nd National Tour set.
It's been a crazy ride during rehearsal but this show means so much to all of us and we cannot wait to share it with a new audience who knows nothing about the story.
The photo above is the time my friend, Brandon, and me got the chance to see The show before it won all of those Tony Awards. We knew it was going to be HUGE and I seriously wanted to give a standing ovation after every single scene. It affected my heart and should so much and I took that experience home.
Getting to see the show was a bit of a ride. It was initially to be my first Broadway show. As we sat in our Orchestra seats, I was in awe of the history surrounding me. Thinking about the shows that have played in the theatre before, thinking about who sat in my seat before. It was a lot to take in.
After about 5 or 10 minutes after curtain was supposed to go, we knew something was wrong. They announced they were trying to fix a technical problem but would start the show as soon as it was fixed. The show's creator and star, Lin Manuel Miranda, couldn't deal with having his audience sit in silence waiting for his show to start, so he strolled onstage with a microphone in hand. He introduced himself and explained more about the problem and announced his 4th grade teacher was in the house along with her current students. Such a sweet moment giving a shout out to her.
Lin then announced that since we were being so patient, he was entertain us with some freestyle rap while they continued to work on the problem. He just started rapping about his teacher, the students he looked at in the seats, and about some random people in the audience. It was amazing seeing the creator of the show we were about to watch freestylin' up onstage.
After about 45 minutes of this amazing pre-show entertainment and a huge applause from the audience, a backstage tech ran up to him and delivered some bad news. The sound board was officially broken and needed to be replaced and the show's sound design had to be reloaded-something that was not going to be fixed that day.
It was a bummer that we weren't given that day to see the show, but as an amazing compilation prize for the troubles, we were all offered tickets to a later showing AND a free copy of the cast recording which they had JUST recorded. We signed our name and address for the CD to be sent to us and got our vouchers to redeem for new tickets. Fun fact, Robin de Jesus (Sonny) wanted to show us the stage that day, but him and the cast were going to Sardi's to watch Priscilla Lopez (Camila) get her caricature official put on the wall of fame.
Fast forward to a couple days later and there we were again, back in the orchestra (in better seats than the first time) eye-level with the performers on stage watching a show that changed my life. I was never moved so much by a show's choreography and music than IN THE HEIGHTS. We could feel the love and souls of each performer beaming out and it was really inspiring as a performer to see such heart and dedication (and ethnicities) on a Broadway stage.
After the show, we went to the stage door to thank Robin, and he waved for us to come into the stage door. He gave us a little tour to let us see the incredible theatre space they were working with. So small but so smart.
It was an incredible "first trip to New York" for me and I feel so blessed and complete that my cast and I get to perform this show with this choreography, costumes, set, lighting, sound, etc.
We open on Friday in the huge 1800 seat Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. You won't want to miss this experience!
Tickets on Goldstar or Ticketmaster!
#Pacienciayfe #noparesiguesigue #dassitITH
Shaun recently played Chino in WEST SIDE STORY. Curently, Shaun's scenic design can be seen in SEVEN SPOTS ON THE SUN.
Shaun's Theatrical Portfolio
Contact Shaun via email here!