Eatontown resident Regene Odon will assume a lead role in Phoenix Productions’ upcoming revival of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights.”
Regene joins the cast as “Honorary Latino” Benny, who works at the dispatch run by Nina’s father, Kevin. He has been in love with Nina for years and dreams of one day starting his own company, according to information provided by Phoenix Productions.
The show, sponsored by D’Agostino and Associates “The Injury Firm,” will take place at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank on June 22-24. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday.
“What I love about Benny is that he is a hard-working guy.” Odon said in the statement. “His humility and strong mind pushes him to work harder and eventually steer him in the right direction. He can be a bit hard-headed sometimes, but that’s what I love about this show. The characters are just so genuine and you can really learn a lot from them.”
Odon is a long-time member of the Phoenix family.
He joined the cast of “Evita” as an ensemble performer, “Seussical” as Wickersham Brother No. 2, and most recently helped celebrate Phoenix Productions at its 30th anniversary gala.
Within the community, he is a well-known, award-winning actor, securing the Count Basie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for “Shrek” as Lord Farquaad at Monmouth Regional High School, according to the statement. In 2014, he played the title role in Monmouth Regional’s production of “Pippin,” for which he was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Musical at the Count Basie Awards.
This summer, he reprises his role as Benny in “In The Heights,” after taking on this role with Pivotal Productions in 2016.
“’In The Heights’ has always been my favorite because the conflicts are so realistic,” Odon said in the statement. “The audience is able to relate and engage themselves in the story in endless ways. It brings a strong message of cultural understanding and a tight-knit community, which is ever-so relevant in our country today. It’s an awesome show.
“Getting to play Benny again is so cool,” he continued. “Getting to see this piece with a new perspective gives me a fresh, new idea of who my character is and the relationships he has with all the people surrounding him. With Phoenix, I feel like I am living the 2008 life in Washington Heights every time I am at rehearsal.”
Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank; by phone at 732-842-9000; or online at www.countbasietheatre.org