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Friday, 28 January, 2011 10:39 AM

'In The Heights' to feature actress Natalie Toro at Detroit's Fisher Theatre

Photo credit: Joan Marcus, 2009

Natalie Toro and Daniel Bolero in the new musical, In the Heights. It opens at Detroit's Fisher Theatre on Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 13, 2011.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- The four-time Tony Award winning In the Heights is coming to Detroit's historic Fisher Theatre from Feb. 1 through 13. The musical first opened on Broadway on March 9, 2008. It tells the story of hard-working immigrants who are looking to achieve the American dream. The setting is a vibrant Manhattan neighborhood. In the Heights is being directed by Joseph A. Callaway and Thomas Kail.

Can you tell me a little about how you got started in the acting business?

"Actually, the acting business chose me," actress Natalie Toro said in an e-mail interview. "When I was very young, I just wanted to be a singer, so I was doing that, studying music and voice. But when I was at the High School of Music and Art, The Boston Conservatory came to the school to hold auditions for their college. I decided, what the heck? I sang a song and got accepted to the college for Musical Theater. There discovered that I had it in me to act and I fell in love with it."

I see that you've starred in many Broadway plays including A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables and A Christmas Carol. Which was the most fun and why?

"Well, Les Miserables was my first Broadway Musical and you will always fall in love with your first," she explained. "Playing Eponine was a dream come true for someone just out of college. I was the first replacement for Eponine and kept my role there for three years. But A tale Of Two Cities was my most challenging role playing the evil madame DeFarge. It took a lot of courage to play someone like her at the same time make her likeable to the audience or at least try to help them understand why she became the way she did. It was awesome."

Please tell me a little about the new musical In the Heights for those who may not know much about it?

"This new style of musical is one that will change musical theater forever," Toro added. "It's a musical for all generations. It's all styles of music, like hip hop and Salsa and regular pop musical theater. But don't let that scare you. It's a very universal story about love and hope and dreams. It's about a neighborhood in Washington Heights in Manhattan where everybody knows your name and your history."

The actress continued: "How a neighborhood can change in a matter of a day because of circumstances and situations. And how the neighborhood changes altogether. This story can take place in an Irish, Italian, and Jewish neighborhood. It takes you away from your own problems and you get carried into these people's lives. There is dancing and an overall feeling of happiness when you see the show."

Could you describe your character, Camila, in the musical?

"She is the mom who owns a Dispatch Taxi Service in the neighborhood with her husband," Toro added. "She is the token Latin mom that is working and living for her daughter to 'make it' in this world. Then, her world collapses when her daughter comes home from college with some news that makes her family go into a spin."

Will it be your first time performing in Detroit?

"No, I have actually been there with most of my national tours," she explained. "When I was in the 20th Anniversary Tour of Evita, we played The Masonic and did our tech previewed there."

What is your advice to students in film/theatre looking to break into the business?

"I really truly believe to stay in school," the actress said. "Get whatever you can from anything that pertains to theater and film. Get involved with your community theater. I believe that everything happens for a reason. You will meet people that might be in high places when you are ready to audition and it gives you a better chance at even getting an appointment to audition. Be kind to everybody and take in everything that the professionals have to say. You will learn in school and you will learn on the job."

Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of IN THE HEIGHTS range from $34-$84 (includes parking and facility fees) and go on sale Friday, November 19, 2010 at the Fisher Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayinDetroit.com, and by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787. Limited premium seats are available at the box office only. For group sales (12 or more), please call (313) 871-1132 or email groups@broadwayindetroit.com.

For additional information, call (313) 872-1000 or visit www.BroadwayinDetroit.com.

 

Photo credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia

In the Heights national tour cast

 

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