Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical Helen Hayes Award - Outstanding Production of a Musical "In the Heights" Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Ensemble Performance "In the Heights"
Michelle Riosis a Broadway veteran, university instructor, theatre facilitator, and director. Her credits include the Tony Award nominated Broadway productions of Paul Simon and Derek Walcott's The Capeman, The Sound of Music (starring Richard Chamberlain), and Man of La Mancha (starring Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell). She also performed the coveted role of “Abuela Claudia” opposite Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Lin Manuel Miranda in In the Heights and originated the role of “Maria Elena” in the opera Missionaries written and directed by the late Elizabeth Swados, which premiered at both La MaMa, ETC. and New York Stage and Film. A classically trained vocalist, Ms. Rios was also a Metropolitan Opera Mid Atlantic Semi-finalist, and has collaborated with artists on theatrical, classical, and contemporary new works. She was a guest artist in Spoleto Music Festivals in both Italy and Charleston, SC, where she performed the world premiere of Magic & Transformation, a chamber orchestral piece with lyrics by the late Lou Reed and music by contemporary composer Peter Gordon. Other guest artist concert appearances include: The Washington Opera, The National Symphony, The Greenville Symphony, The Arlington Symphony, The Pan American Symphony Orchestra, The Core Ensemble, Opera Maxlrain (Germany), The “In” Series, etc. Ms. Rios has performed and collaborated with such luminaries as Paul Simon, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Uzo Aduba, Lila Downs, and Academy Award nominees Ed Harris, Mare Winningham, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, to name a few. She performed the role of "Signora Nacarelli" in the World Premiere of the first chamber production of The Light in the Piazza by Tony Award winning composer Adam Guettel. She also originated the role of “Lupe” in the World Premiere of Tony Award nominees Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson's Giant directed by award winning Broadway and West End director and choreographer Jonathan Butterell ("Everybody's Talking About Jamie"). She performed alongside Grammy Award winning recording artist Lila Downs as “Mama Elena” in the Sundance Theatre Lab workshop presentation of Like Water for Chocolate with music and lyrics by Lila Downs and a book by Pulitzer Prize Award winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes. Ms. Rios received a 2018 Helen Hayes Award nomination for her performance as "Abuela Claudia" in the U.S. Spanish premiere of In the Heights directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado with original Spanish lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda. You may catch Ms. Rios as “Flora” opposite Academy Award nominee Ed Harris in the feature film Frontera (on Netflix). She appears as "Mrs. Lopez" in the first season of Schmigadoon! a musical comedy series starring SNL's Cecily Strong and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Addams Family, Men in Black, etc.). Schmigadoon! is currently streaming on Apple TV+ . Ms. Rios received an MFA in Theatre Practice from the University of Alberta (Canada).