Television actor Jimmy Smits has been tapped to join the cast of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s big-screen adaptation of his hit Broadway play In The Heights. Smits, whose recent credits include Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and How to Get Away With Murder, will portray the role of Kevin Rosario.
Smits, whom television fans know from his starring roles in the series L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, and The West Wing, will play the character of Nina’s overprotective father, who owns his own taxi cab service, Rosario’s.
Smits joins former Hamilton star Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, Tony nominee Corey Hawkins as Benny, Melissa Barrera as Vanessa, and Leslie Grace as Nina, reported Deadline.
Also confirmed for the cast are Olga Merediz, who originated the role of Abuela Claudia, and Gregory Diaz IV (Broadway’s Matilda) as Sonny, noted Playbill. According to Broadway World, Stephanie Beatriz, who is best-known for starring in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will play Carla.
The story of In The Heights is set over three days in a neighborhood that mirrors the largely Hispanic-American neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York City, where Miranda grew up and where the play is based.
Miranda reportedly wrote his first draft of In the Heights in 1999, during his sophomore year of college.
It was brought to an off-Broadway theater in 2007 and made its Broadway debut in 2008, running through 2011. During the show’s run, In The Heights won four Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations.
*taps ????*— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) April 15, 2019
And now I’m thrilled to announce some more #InTheHeightsMovie casting news...@TheOlgaMerediz IS Abuela Claudia!
Gregory Diaz IV IS Sonny!
Jimmy Smits IS Kevin Rosario!
See y’all uptown.
...More soon. pic.twitter.com/hL1l3BiIlz
Smits is no stranger to stage work. He has done work on Broadway in the plays God of Carnage and Anna in the Tropics.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda has announced the cast for the movie adaptation of his @thetonyawards and @olivierawards winning musical In The Heights! ???? ✨ @anthonyramosofficial will star in the movie as Usnavi with @coreyhawkins as Benny, @melissabarreram as Vanessa and @lesliegrace as Nina. ✨ @officialolgamerediz will reprise the role of Abuela Claudia (for which she got a @thetonyawards nomination), Jimmy Smits will play Kevin Rosario and Gregory Diaz IV will play the role of Sonny. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ #theatre #musical #musicaltheatre #gregorydiaziv #jimmysmits #olgamerediz #lesliegrace #melissabarrera #coreyhawkins #theatrekid #theatrekidproblems #theatrelife #anthonyramos #usnavi #washingtonheights #broadwaypicnic #linmanuel #aeronjames #westendpicnic #linmanuelmiranda #intheheightsbway #intheheightsmovie #intheheights #intheheightsmusical
Miranda, who recently starred in Mary Poppins Returns, is thrilled to be adapting a play that is so close to his heart for the big screen.
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IM SO PUMPED FOR THE MOVIE!!!! ⇨ Musical: In The Heights ⇨ Song: In the heights ———— #hamilton #hamiltonbroadway #linmanuelmiranda #broadway #musicals #21chumpstreet #yayhamlet #rainbow #meangirlsbroadway #hamiltonwestend #onceonthisisland #musicaltheatre #broadwayshows #showtunes #broadwaymusicals #dearevenhansen #theatre #intheheights
In an interview with Broadway.com, Miranda explained how he came up with the concept for the show that is now destined for theaters across the country.
“I wrote the first incarnation of In the Heights my sophomore year at Wesleyan University. In the winter of 1999, I applied to put up a new show in the student-run ’92 Theater. At the time, I had one song and a title: In the Heights. I was given the theater for the weekend of April 20-22—now all I had to do was write a show.”
The big-screen debut of In The Heights will be June 26, 2020.