In the Heights

Show Synopsis

Over the course of the 2008 Tony award-winning musical, we encounter the colorful residents of Washington Heights -- a New York City neighborhood on the brink of change. Usnavi, a first generation Dominican-American corner bodega owner, and his friends and family are dealing with the pressures of rising rents and closing neighborhood businesses. As one family struggles to figure out how to pay for an Ivy League tuition for their brilliant and hard-working daughter, a young woman is trying to put a down payment on a new apartment, and Usnavi himself is trying to get back to the Dominican Republic to reconnect with his roots after the death of his parents. In Washington Heights, community is everything, and we see how each of these individuals struggles to survive and how these same individuals come together as a community to mourn their losses and rejoice in their triumphs. We see that community grapple with love and lust, identity and racism. All while the prospect of a winning lottery ticket hangs in the air, potentially changing the livelihoods of the people and the community forever. This revolutionary new musical combines Latin rhythms and dance with hip-hop lyrics to tell a captivating story about what it means to chase your dreams as you cling to your roots and celebrate the community from which you grew.

Characters
  • Usnavi de la Vega: Baritone, narrator of the play's exposition and a major character throughout; he is the owner of a small bodega in Washington Heights. Abuela Claudia, the neighborhood matriarch, "practically raised" him when his parents both died during his early childhood. He dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic, the place he was born, but left too young for him to remember. He is in love with Vanessa.
  • "Abuela" Claudia: Alto, loving matriarch of the barrio who knows everybody and is like a grandmother to all ("abuela" means "grandmother" in Spanish). She and her mother moved from Cuba to New York in 1943 while she was a child. She worked as a maid but never earned the money for her and her mother to travel home.
  • Vanessa: Mezzo-Soprano, Usnavi's love interest who works at Daniela's salon. She’s stunningly beautiful and catches the eye of every guy, however she takes interest in Usnavi. She lives with an alcoholic mother and dreams of getting out of the Barrio and getting an apartment downtown, but cannot yet afford it.
  • Nina Rosario: Soprano, first in her family (and from the Barrio) to go to college and everyone admires her as the "one who made it out." However, returning home she reluctantly tell her parents that she has dropped out. Always having gotten along with her parents she now loses patience with her father's over protectiveness and his refusal to accept Benny, with whom she has a romantic relationship.
  • Benny: Tenor, works at the dispatch of Nina's father, Kevin. The only character in the play who does not speak Spanish and is not Hispanic, Benny falls in love with Nina. He dreams of opening his own business.
  • Sonny de la Vega: Tenor, Usnavi's sassy, superficially lazy, yet ambitious younger cousin. Works at the bodega. Typically the jokester of the Barrio, but he also has an intelligent and thoughtful side that yearns for social justice. Not explicitly stated, Graffiti Pete and Sonny may share a romantic relationship.
  • Daniela: Alto, outrageously dramatic owner of the salon where the neighborhood girls come to gossip. She is bold, loud and loves to banter.
  • Carla: Soprano, works at Daniela's salon and is Daniela's close friend; young and pretty, but a little slow to get the others' jokes and innuendos, she is of Chilean, Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent.
  • Kevin Rosario: Baritone, Nina's overprotective father, who, coming from a long line of farmers, has worked hard to resist following in his own father's footsteps. He owns his own taxi cab service:
  • Camila Rosario: Mezzo-Soprano, Nina's strong-willed mother, who wants what is best for Nina. She is typically tolerant of Kevin's control issues, but in the course of the show, reveals her real feelings.
  • Piragua Guy (Piragüero): Tenor, is the owner of a small piragua stand that competes with Mister Softee.
  • Graffiti Pete: is a graffiti artist. May be in a romantic relationship with Sonny. Usnavi believes he is a trouble-making vandal (constantly referring to him as a 'punk'), until Pete reveals his amazing skills as an artist.
Preparations
  • Prepare 16 bars of a musical that best features your vocal qualities
  • Cold readings from the script
  • Dress prepared to learn a dance routine
Performance Dates
  • May 4, 5, 11 & 12
Rehearsals
  • TBD
Production Crew
  • Stage Director: Harriet Friedman
  • Musicl Director: John Eldridge
  • Stage Manager: Nadine Sa
  • Set Designer: Douglas Cooper
  • Lighting Design: TBD
  • Sound Designer: TBD
  • Costumes: TBD

Event Properties

Event Date Feb 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Event End Date Feb 12, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
Reservations Open Dec 1, 2017
Admission N/A
Location Westford Parish Center for the Arts

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