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Off B’way hits the ‘Heights’

Tuner sets cast, dates for previews

Off Broadway tuner “In the Heights,” the latest show from producers of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” has set a cast and dates, beginning previews Jan. 9 at 37 Arts.

Cast of 22 includes Priscilla Lopez (“A Chorus Line”), Mandy Gonzalez (“Dance of the Vampires”) and Karen Olivo (“Brooklyn”), along with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer-lyricist of the show, who also stars.

Given the size of the cast, it seems a fair bet the production has its eye on Broadway. Tuners that large are rare Off Broadway, where the economics make it tough to sustain a musical of such scope.

“Heights” producers Kevin McCollum and Jill Furman teamed on “Drowsy,” last season’s surprise Rialto hit.

“Heights” also reps the latest try for a hit in the new arts complex 37 Arts, the multistage venue west of midtown Manhattan that opened in 2005. Space has yet to carve out a profile that rivals New World Stages, the legit multiplex closer to the area of midtown known as the Broadway box.

McCollum and Jeffrey Seller, who is also one of the producers of “Heights,” are among the owners of 37 Arts. Duo (“Rent”) also have a new Broadway offering coming up with “High Fidelity,” the tuner that opens Dec. 7.

Thomas Kail, who with Miranda is a member of hip-hop improv troupe Freestyle Love Supreme, directs the show, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (“The Apple Tree”). Book is by Quiara Alegria Hudes (“Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue”).

Production opens Feb. 8.

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