Friday, June 01, 2012

 In The Heights

On Wednesday evening we were treated to the last of the Broadway series at WVU Creative Arts Center.  Jeff and Sarah could not go so we met friends Mike and Stacy Claxton.

In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes.   The story explores three days in the characters' lives in the New York City Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights. 

This musical included a variety of musical styles including freestyle rap and salsa numbers .  The action is centered around a bodegas.

 The characters were most interesting.  They included:

  • Usnavi, the owner of a bodega in Washington Heights. He was named after one of the first sights his parents saw when they arrived in America, a US Navy ship. He dreams of going to the Dominican Republic, his parents' homeland. Abuela Claudia, the neighborhood matriarch, practically raised him. He is in love with Vanessa.
  • "Abuela" Claudia is the elder and matriarch of the barrio who knows everybody and is like a grandmother to all (“abuela” means “grandmother” in Spanish). She is the one who looked after Usnavi when his parents died.
  • Vanessa is Usnavi's love interest who works at Daniela's salon. She dreams of getting out of the barrio and getting an apartment downtown.
  • Nina Rosario is the daughter of Kevin and Camila. She is the first to go to college (Stanford University), and everyone in the barrio admires her. However, she returns home from school for the summer with difficult news to tell her parents.
  • Benny works at Kevin's dispatch. The only non-Spanish-speaking member of the community, he falls in love with Nina. He dreams of opening his own business, "Benny's Car Service."
  • Sonny is Usnavi's sassy, lazy, yet ambitious younger cousin who works in the bodega.
  • Daniela is the outrageous owner of the salon where the neighborhood girls gossip.
  • Carla works at Daniela's salon along with Vanessa.
  • Kevin Rosario is Nina's father, wants to make sure his family has everything they want. He is overprotective of Nina and owns Rosario's Car Service.
  • Camila Rosario is Nina's mother, who wants what is best for Nina.
  • The Piragua Guy ("Piragüero") is the owner of a small piragua  stand that competes with Mister Softee. 
  • Graffiti Pete is a graffiti artist and friend of Sonny. Usnavi believes he is a trouble-making vandal, but Pete is really a good-hearted artist.
Below is Kyle Carter who plays Benny.

It has been a great theater year!


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