Revolutionary Broadway Sensation In the Heights Raps and Salsa’s to The Western Stage
Catch it on the Mainstage August 26 – September 16, 2017
SALINAS, Calif. – The Western Stage takes on one of Broadway’s most raved-about sensations. From the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights is a celebration of community, family, and holding onto your roots. Through its dynamic score and cunning rap lyrics, a heart-pumping spectacle of hip-hop, Latin dance, and acrobatics, we meet the diverse residents of Washington Heights, a neighborhood on the brink of change.
In the Heights opens on the Mainstage Theater August 26 and performs weekends until September 16 at Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave., Salinas.
At the center of In the Heights is Usnavi, a first generation Dominican-American bodega owner, who looks after the neighborhood matron, pines after the gorgeous girl working in the beauty salon, and dreams of winning the lottery and escaping to the shores of his native Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, his friends and family are dealing with the pressures of rising rents and closing neighborhood businesses. Nina, a childhood friend of Usnavi’s, has returned to the neighborhood from her first year at college with surprising news for her parents, who have spent their life savings on building a better life for their daughter. The residents of Washington Heights grapple with family and generational conflicts, identity and racism, all while the prospect of a winning lottery ticket hangs in the air. This revolutionary and Tony Award winning 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 to celebrate the community from which you grew.
For a musical that began as a college project and sped quickly through the ranks, it premiered on Broadway less than 10 years after inception. So it is not surprising that it was promptly nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning 4 (Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations), as well as a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, and a Drama Desk Award. The unprecedented success of In the Heights experienced global recognition due to its ability to reach a wide range of audiences, specifically underrepresented ethnic groups. It embraces third-wave feminism contexts, celebrating women’s diverse characteristics. Miranda paints the Hispanic girls as having authority, something that women often lack in musicals. Aside from its groundbreaking music, flowing rap lyrics, heart-stopping choreography, and lovable characters, the play demonstrates potential for change in the musical industry.
The Western Stage’s production is directed by Lorenzo Aragon and choreographed by Chris Marcos (who plays Usnavi). Additional choreography by Marissa Herrera. Musical direction is by Don Dally. Scenic design by Theodore Michael Dolas; costume design by Amanda Jones with hair/makeup design by Maegan Roux; lighting design by Derek Duarte, and sound design by Jeff Mockus.