'American Idol' winner Jordin Sparks to make her Broadway debut with 'In the Heights'
Sparks will play Nina Rosario, a college student with a secret who returns to her old neighborhood in New York's Washington Heights. She will perform for 12 weeks, from Aug. 19 through Nov. 14.
Since winning the 2007 "American Idol" title when she was 17, Sparks has pursued a recording career, starting with a debut album that produced a series of Top 5 hits on Billboard's pop singles chart.
She has won an American Music Award for favorite adult contemporary artist and received a Grammy nomination for best pop collaboration with vocals for "No Air."
"In the Heights," which won four 2008 Tonys including one for best musical, was conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics, and has a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. A touring production of the show is set to play the Pantages Theater in Hollywood in June and the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa in August.
The New York production already stars another pop-culture idol, Corbin Bleu, from Disney's "High School Musical" franchise.
Other "American Idol" alums have made it to Broadway, including Constantine Maroulis, who received a 2009 Tony nomination for the '80s Sunset Strip saga "Rock of Ages." Maroulis also will star in the national tour of "Rock of Ages" that plays the Pantages Theater Feb. 15-27.
-- Karen Wada
Photo: Jordin Sparks. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images