2024 Season

The Muny Announces Principal Cast for Premiere Production of ‘In the Heights’

ST. LOUIS — Benji Santiago, Ariana Burks, Alex Joseph Grayson, Alysia Velez, Nancy Ticotin, Miguel Gil, Martín Solá, Karmine Alers, Darilyn Castillo and Marlene Fernandez will star in the Muny premiere of In the Heights, which runs Aug. 9-15 on the James S. McDonnell Stage in Forest Park.

The show’s creative team is led by Director/Choreographer William Carlos Angulo, with Associate Choreographer Shani Talmor and Music Director/Conductor Roberto Sinha.

In the Heights principal cast

In the Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s beautiful love letter to life,” said Muny Artistic Director & Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “I’m excited that our audience will see this wonderful story of community and home on our stage.”

BENJI SANTIAGO (Usnavi) Born in Puerto Rico, Benji is an actor/singer/dancer based in New York City. Previous credits include Spring Awakening (Melchior, Vanguard Theater Company) and El Otro Oz (Scarecrow, The Forestburgh Playhouse). Santiago trained at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

ARIANA BURKS (Nina) Stage credits: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Paramount Theatre, Marriott Theatre), Antigone, Gospel at Colonus (Court Theatre, The Getty), Children of Eden (Cadillac Palace Theatre), Spring Awakening (Porchlight Music Theatre), Urinetown (BoHo Theatre), The Nutcracker (The House Theatre), Hairspray (Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre), Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Compass, Dance Nation (Steppenwolf), Trevor: The Musical, Next to Normal (Writers Theatre), Life After, A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre).

ALEX JOSEPH GRAYSON (Benny) Broadway: Parade (revival, Grammy-nominated 2023 cast album), Into the Woods (revival), Girl From the North Country, A Bronx Tale. Off-Broadway: Toni Stone (Roundabout). NYC: Running Man (Lincoln Center Cast Album Project),Titanic, Parade (City Center). National tour: Once on This Island. Regional: Hair (The Old Globe), Camelot (Asolo Rep).

ALYSIA VELEZ (Vanessa) Broadway: Into the Woods (Rapunzel, 2022 revival, directed by Lear deBessonet). Off-Broadway: For You, Paige (Ensemble, directed by Emily Maltby and Maria Goulamhoussen). National tour: Into the Woods. Regional: Evita (Ensemble, u/s Eva/Mistress, Shakespeare Theatre Company). Film/TV: In the Heights (Salsa Dancer). Opera: Hansel and Gretel (Dew Fairy and Sandman, Magic City Opera). 2023 Grammy Award-winning cast album for Into the Woods. BM at Manhattan School of Music, musical theatre.

NANCY TICOTIN (Abuela Claudia) Broadway: The King and I (Court Child), West Side Story (Consuelo, Anita, first revival), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Anita, Tuptim), Damn Yankees (Lola), In the Heights (Camilla, Abuela, Daniela). Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social Club (Omara), The View Upstairs (Inez). Regional: Half Time (Camilla, Paper Mill Playhouse), Destiny of Desire (Sister Sonia, Old Globe). Tour: On Your Feet! (Gloria Fajardo, first national). TV: Pose (Valeria), Blue Bloods (Mrs. Badilla), Taken (Salome), Law & Order (Detective Reina Perez, recurring), Law & Order: SVU (Cesaria Amaro, recurring).

MIGUEL GIL (Sonny) Broadway: Kimberly Akimbo (u/s Seth/Aaron/Martin). Regional: Bye Bye Birdie (Hugo, The Kennedy Center).

MARTÍN SOLÁ (Kevin) Muny: On Your Feet! Broadway: How to Dance in Ohio, On Your Feet!, The King and I, Coram Boy, La Bohème. The Public: Plays for the Plague Year, Miss You Like Hell, Giant. Other NY credits: New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, NY City Center Encores!, The Roundabout, INTAR and more. TV/film: Archive 81 (Father Russo, Netflix), FBI (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Benji’s Hour. Martín wrote, directed and starred in the short May I Take it Your Plate, which garnered Best Film and Best Actor awards at both the International Puerto Rican Heritage and the New York City Downtown film festivals.

KARMINE ALERS (Camila) Muny: On Your Feet! (Ensemble). Broadway: Rent (Mimi) and On Your Feet! (original Broadway cast). National tour: Beetlejuice (Juno/Maxine). Regional: In The Heights (Camila, Milwaukee Repertory co-production), On Your Feet! (Fajardo, Phoenix Theatre), Scrooge (Christmas Past, ATC), Smokey Joe's Cafe, (Pattie, Fulton Theatre).

DARILYN CASTILLO (Daniela) An award-winning recording artist, her EP Constellation and Latin single Ella Y No Conmigo can be found on all streaming platforms. National tours: Hamilton (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds in original, Peggy in the Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Philip companies), Disney's The Lion King (u/s Nala). Regional: Dream Hou$e (originated the role of Julia, Alliance Theatre, Long Wharf and Baltimore Center Stage), Once on This Island (Ti Moune, Meadow Brook Theatre). TV: The Crowded Room; And Just Like That; Law & Order: Organized Crime; the 74th, 75th and 76th Tony Awards; Boardwalk Empire. Film: Martyr of Gowanus, The Odd Year. Training: City College of NY, LAMDA.

MARLENE FERNANDEZ (Carla) played Carla in In the Heights at Stages St. Louis. She recently starred as Pamina in the Goodman Theatre’s The Matchbox Magic Flute, director Mary Zimmerman’s reimagining of the classic opera. She will reprise the role in the show’s upcoming engagements at Shakespeare Theatre Company and Berkeley Rep. Marlene is a proud graduate of Penn State University’s musical theatre program.

Remaining cast and creative team for In the Heights will be announced later. The Telsey Office is the official casting partner of The Muny.

The Muny artistic staff includes Artistic Director & Executive Producer Mike Isaacson, Associate Artistic Director Michael Baxter, Production Manager Tracy Utzmyers and Music Supervisor Michael Horsley.

Before Hamilton, the visionary Lin-Manuel Miranda made a splash on Broadway with In the Heights, for which he wrote the music and lyrics; the musical’s book is by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Set against the beats of salsa and hip-hop, it tells the story of Usnavi, who longs to pick up his roots and move away from Washington Heights, the tight-knit New York City neighborhood that shaped him. This vibrant show will fill your heart with its spellbinding choreography and infectious energy.

Performances of In the Heights begin at 8:15 p.m. nightly, Aug. 9-15. Season tickets are on sale now at, by calling (314) 361-1900 or at the Muny Box Office in Forest Park. Single-performance tickets go on sale May 20.

Season 106 at The Muny also includes Les Misérables (June 17-23), Dreamgirls (June 27-July 3), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (July 8-16), Fiddler on the Roof (July 19-25), Waitress (July 30-Aug. 5) and Anything Goes (Aug. 19-25).

To learn more about the Muny production of In the Heights and the show’s history, visit

For actor headshots, show logos, video and other assets, visit the Muny Press Room at

About The Muny

The Muny’s mission is to enrich lives by producing exceptional musical theatre, accessible to all, while continuing its remarkable tradition in Forest Park. As the nation’s oldest, largest outdoor musical theatre, we welcome more than 350,000 theatregoers each summer for seven world-class productions. Now celebrating 106 seasons in St. Louis, The Muny remains one of the premier institutions in musical theatre. For more information, visit

Categories: 2024 Season, Announcements, Muny News, Press

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