Wednesday, November 30, 2022

‘In The Heights’: A Musical of a Barrio of Community

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On closing night, the entire ensemble of “In the Heights” crowds the stage for the opening number. PN Photo/Victor Mays

The original Broadway set for “In the Heights” fills the GPAC stage. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

By Andrew Thrift, Copy Chief

Eleven years after its Broadway debut, UNCP presents “In the Heights.” Students worked hard to perform at the Givens Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Jonathan Drahos and Carolanne Marano, the UNCP theater department was able to present “In The Heights.” With the original Broadway set with dancing choreographed by Marano, Pembroke was able to bring the streets of Washington Heights to life.

Starring Sean Deam, Chelsea Williams, Jamonte Madison, Mahala Treish and Cameron Holder, they were able to bring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical to the Givens Performing Arts Center stage.

Givens Performing Arts Center was filled for opening night with students and family members filling the front of the auditorium. The whole play was a beautiful experience for those who either know the musical and for those who’ve never seen it. Marano and Drahos were able to showcase the best Pembroke has to offer. Members of the audience were shocked when they learned about Abuela winning the money and were even more heartbroken when they learned she passed away.

The costume Designer Corey Jacob Brittain really made the characters look how they acted. Vanessa was always in stunning outfits, which had the audience cheering when she walked out in a gorgeous red dress and heels when they went clubbing.

In all the show was beautiful with a runtime of roughly 2.5 hours. If you weren’t able to see it, you definitely missed out on the pure talent Pembroke has.

The show opens on the streets of Washington Heights at sunrise, the day before the fourth of July as Usnavi opens the bodega. The show focuses around Nina Rosario coming home from Stanford after she dropped out. Nina is scared to tell her family and the barrio about the situation. She is the first in her family to go to college and she doesn’t want to disappoint them.

When they find out Abuela Claudia has died, Nina’s father goes onto the dispatch to tell the barrio which saddens the whole neighborhood as well as the audience. The whole neighborhood goes to Abuela’s house to put out candles.

“I am most proud of our director Carolanne Marano and the cast of this piece. We had theater majors and students from six different departments on campus,” said Drahos.

In The Heights was a beautiful production, the cast and crew should be proud of the countless hours of work they have put into the production.

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