Priscilla Lopez (b. Bronx, New York, 26 February 1948), a graduate of Manhattan’s celebrated High School of Performing Arts, has been performing on and off Broadway for more than forty years. She was to make her first Broadway appearance as a dancer in 1966 in the musical adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but the show never made it out of previews. In 1967, Lopez was counted among the adult ensemble in Bob Merrill’s Henry, Sweet Henry, but the show ran for only two months. In 1968, shortly after her twentieth birthday, Lopez appeared as an Egyptian in yet another ill-fated musical, Ervin Drake’s Her First Roman.
In 1971, after preparing as an understudy in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Company, Priscilla Lopez took over the role of Kathy, and in 1974 she replaced Leland Palmer in the featured role of Fastrada in the original Broadway production of Stephen Schwartz’s hit musical comedy, Pippin.
In 1975, Lopez was among the Broadway dancers interviewed by Michael Bennett for the New York Shakespeare Festival production of A Chorus Line. Lopez’s own story became the foundation for the character Diana. She earned her first Tony Award® nomination for the role and garnered, with everyone else in the original Broadway production, a Theatre World Special Award for Ensemble Performance.
In 1980, Priscilla Lopez won a Tony® for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Gino in the Broadway musical comedy revue, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine. After serving as director Tommy Tune’s assistant in Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston’s Broadway musical adaptation of Nine, Lopez subsequently joined the cast as Liliane La Fleur. In 2003 she starred in the three-month run of Anna in the Tropics.
Most recently, in 2008, Priscilla Lopez originated the role of Camila in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, In the Heights, which ran for 1,184 performances, receiving nine Tony® nominations besides winning the Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Choreography – plus a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
Lopez has also been active in film and television, appearing in such different shows as All in the Family, L.A. Law, and As the World Turns.