IN THE HEIGHTS
Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Howard M. Whitmore
Choreography by Melanie Jefferson
Music direction by Carl Phillips
Presented by the Linden Cultural Committee
WHEN: July 19 – 27, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM; July 21 at 3:00 PM
WHERE: Linden High School Auditorium, 121 West Saint Georges Avenue,
(Click here to get directions)
TICKETS: $15 General Admission; $12 students 17 and under
For tickets call 908.486.4144 or visit www.mysticvisionplayers.com.
Mystic Vision Players presents the show that started it all for one of Linden’s Broadway stars, Jon Rua
In The Heights, winner of four 2008 Tony Awards® and the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album, is coming to Linden for the first time this summer, but this town’s connection has much deeper roots. Jon Rua, who recently originated the role of “Jesus Pena” on Broadway in Hands On A Hardbody, graduated from Linden High School in 2001 and went on to appear in the ensemble of the premiere off-Broadway production of In The Heights. He also starred in the Broadway run’s closing months with turns as “Sonny,” “Graffiti Pete” and “Usnavi,” the starring role made famous by the show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood—a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
With a multi-ethnic cast of 26 ranging from their teens into their 40’s, this production represents a variety of cultures and outlooks on life just as In The Heights shows us the diversity of this small Hispanic community.
Alicia Cordero, a resident of Linden who has grown up as a part of Mystic Vision Players since 1998, plays the leading role of Nina Rosario. When she first her about In The Heights’ original Broadway run, Alicia thought “the idea of a show so focused on a very specific neighborhood and using the music of that population was so different and interesting.” Growing up half-Latina herself, give Alicia a special outlook on her character. “Her struggle to figure out how to tell her parents that she hasn't lived up to their expectations and her not knowing where she belonged in this community anymore when she returned felt honest and real to me due to my own experiences.”
Louis Vetter who stars as Usnavi de la Vega, the role originated by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, shares Ms. Cordero’s attachment to the show’s material. “I grew up in Union City which is a Hispanic neighborhood, so I could relate to a lot of the characters and story lines. Also since I am Latino, I had a cultural connection.” After first seeing In The Heights as a sophomore in college, ‘Usnavi’ became one of Mr. Vetter’s dream roles because of their similar backgrounds.
“When I was younger I always had this dream of moving to Puerto Rico and living there. I love it, and still consider it home, but at the same time I consider Union City as my home. I am very proud of my Puerto Rican heritage, as Usnavi is proud of his Dominican heritage.”
Usnavi De La Vega, owner of the corner bodega: Louis Vetter
Nina Rosario, the overachiever back from Stanford University: Alicia Cordero
Kevin Rosario, Nina’s father and owner of a car service: Patrick Starega
Camilia Rosario, Nina’s mother and aspiring restauranteur: Stephanie Lubroth
Benny, Usnavi’s best friend and an employee at Rosario’s: Mohamed S. Jalloh
Vanessa, Nina’s best friend and salon employee: Nikki Ashe
Sonny, Usnavi’s 15 year old cousin and local political activist: Daniel Cancel
Abuela Claudia, the grandmother to the whole neighborhood: Mimi Francis
Daniela, feisty owner of the local hair salon: Natalie Pineiro
Carla, an assistant at the salon and Daniela’s confidante: Ashley Molina
Graffiti Pete, Sonny’s best friend and a local “artist”: A.J. Douglas
Piragua Guy, put-upon purveyor of shaved ice treats: Claudio Venancio
Ensemble - Krystal Aguilar, Evan Cordero, Duane Cosby, Lyle Dungee, Tyron Howard, Melissa Kaban, Maleesa Lamatina, Tony Neal, Sarah Phemsint, Kyndell Pierce, A.J. Primavera, Destiny Marie Santiago, Devin Santiago, Monae Torres