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‘In the Height’s choreographer – and assistant director – Rebecca Kritzer in the spotlight


In the Heights plays on the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre main stage through May 14. Rebecca Kritzer provided the choreography (and is Assistant Director) for the show.

Kritzer has a long history with In the Heights. As a cast member in the show’s first national tour, Rebecca had the privilege of not only working with the musical’s original creative team, but performing with the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. She subsequently performed in the show regionally at The Actor’s Playhouse, Theatre Under the Stars and Olney Theatre Centre. At the latter venue, Rebecca also served as Associate Choreographer and Dance Captain.

Her part in the national tour was actually the first professional job Kritzer ever booked. But her classical training in dance, along with hip hop and all forms of Latin dance, prepared her for the audition.

“At the time that [In the Heights first] opened, there was no show that existed that had hip-hop and salsa and rap,” Rebecca continues.

“I remember when I was auditioning for the show, I couldn’t believe I got to dance salsa and do this kind of movement that felt very natural in the body.”

Her experience in and concomitant understanding of the show’s fundamentals inform the choreography she’s brought to the Broadway Palm stage for Prather Entertainment.

“Because I have such a history with the show, I understand what each musical number is trying to say from the beginning to the end,” Rebecca declares. “What I think is so special about this show is we are able to tell a story of real people in a real place who can be authentically and unapologetically themselves on stage and so, through my choreography, I wanted to bring out that honesty and that humanity.”

To achieve that end, Rebecca developed a “movement vocabulary” through which everyone on stage, whether a principal or ensemble member, expresses a relationship to movement that correlates directly with the specific musical number that is happening.

“Whatever the temperature, the tone, whatever the moment in the storytelling is, it is represented through the movement because I do believe that movement is such an important and integral part of storytelling.”

Her approach is to choreograph not to the music, but to the lyrics. “Every lyric has a movement representation that is attached to it, so that whatever the audience is absorbing sonically, they’re also absorbing visually.”

As a result, Rebecca points out, the version of the show that is being performed at Broadway Palm “only exists here at Broadway Palm … and nowhere else.”

The result is powerful.

“Every time I see the show, from beginning to end I am with the cast -every single step along the way – and I really do hope, and I expect, that everyone who watches the show will be as enthralled and will be leaning forward in their seats the way I am.”

In addition to In the Heights, Rebecca traveled the country with the first national tour of Wicked, and the 50th Anniversary U.S. tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which she was part of the original cast. Kritzer also traveled to Israel with the Broadway musical Soul Doctor, and was seen in West Side Story at Maltz Jupiter Theatre and On Your Feet! at The Actors’ Playhouse.

Kritzer lives in New York, working as an actor, arts educator, director, choreographer, and writer. She earned a B.A. magna cum laude from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU with a double-major in Journalism and Religious Studies. Harnessing her journalism degree, Rebecca has contributed as a writer and/or editor to The Village Voice, GO magazine, NYU LiveWire, Washington Square News,,, and, among others. She also maintains a writer’s blog, RebeRoad, which spans travel, food and culture.

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