February 13, 2024

MSM Spotlight: Meet Musical Theatre sophomore Nino de la Torre

This story was published prior to MSM’s recent production of The Hills Are Alive!.

Nino de la Torre (BM ’26) is a featured performer in MSM Musical Theatre’s new production The Hills Are Alive!  taking place at The Riverside Theatre for four performances from February 16 to 18!

Nino speaks with us about his role in the musical, what they love about the MSM Community, and their first experience in theatre.


Nino is originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, and last semester they performed in the ensemble of MSM Musical Theatre’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. Other MSM performance credits include The Secret Life of the American Musical, Freshmen Pops, For Mad Men Only, and Night of Color with MSM’s theatre society Alpha Psi Omega (APO). They have also been a part of the MT lab reading of Sacrifices and the Disney Theatrical Group reading of The Little Mermaid. 

A New Musical 

FEB 16 | FRI 
7:30 PM 

FEB 17 | SAT 
2 PM & 7:30 PM 

FEB 18 | SUN 
2 PM 

Book and Lyrics by Frankie Johnson
Music by Eric Thomas Johnson 

Evan Pappas, Director
John Yun, Music Director
Todd L. Underwood, Choreographer

Tickets required
$15 adults, $10 non-MSM students and seniors

The Riverside Theatre 
91 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

Tell us about The Hills Are Alive!. What is the musical about?

Nino: The Hills Are Alive! is a dark musical comedy that poses the question of what may have happened in the story of The Sound of Music after it ends, as the family escapes Austria. The plot takes many hilarious and startling twists and turns as the kids traverse the Alps, struggling to survive in the wilderness and combat forces of nature as well as unexpected enemies lurking along the way. I don’t want to give too much away, but be ready to experience one of the most hysterical new musicals out there!

Tell us about your role as Felix in the production!

Nino: My character, Felix, is the 14-year-old eldest son of the von Klapp family, who may or may not have a bit of an ego. He longs to be the leader of the other kids and use his “unmatched wit” to guide them to safety. He constantly bickers with his older sister, Lotte, who is actually the one able to lead them to Switzerland. It is thrilling to play children with my peers and fall into our places in a dysfunctional yet loving family.

Nino (far right) in Bye Bye Birdie, Fall 2023

How has the rehearsal process been?

Nino: The rehearsal process has been one of the best I have ever experienced! The creative team, including director Evan Pappas, music director John Yun, choreographer Todd Underwood, and production stage manager Bri O’ Callaghan, has created a safe, supportive, and uplifting environment. The team has given us liberties to make bold and exciting choices, and each person has used their professional skills to guide us in the right direction. Additionally, it has been a wonderful experience to work with book writer and lyricist Frankie Johnson and composer Eric Thomas Johnson, who have been involved in the entire rehearsal process, providing us with special insights into their writing.

What do you love best about being part of the MSM Community?

Nino: I love the supportive faculty, who instill in us their passion and devotion to this challenging art form and career we have decided to pursue. Our professors teach everything from script analysis to acting the song, speech, or ballet, providing us with unique perspectives and specialized professional expertise. Additionally, they lift our spirits and encourage us to be dauntless, and prepare us to be individual and kind artists entering the industry.

“I love the supportive faculty who instill in us their passion and devotion to the challenging art form and career we have decided to pursue.”

What was your first experience with musical theatre, and how do you think it impacted you?

Nino: My first experience in musical theatre was during a middle school “movie and music review,” which was basically my teacher assigning students to write mini-versions of movies and musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, High School Musical, etc. It was honestly one of the messiest and most disorganized theatre experiences I have ever had. However, I also loved each and every second of it. The experience of combining music with storytelling was inspiring and set me on the path to pursue musical theatre.

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