The Carver High Theater Department is giving an encore performance of the musical “In The Heights” during a dinner theater event set Saturday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. in the school auditorium. Tickets are $15.
The story is set over the course of three days, involving an ensemble cast of characters in the largely Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. In the story, a young store owner watches the joys and heartbreaks of his tight-knit community as they pass through his bodega. “In The Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community – 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.
After productions in Connecticut (2005) and Off-Broadway (2007), “In The Heights” opened in a Broadway theater production in March 2008. It played 1,184 regular performances and closed on January 9, 2011. In 2008, the musical was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won in four categories: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Some critics called “In The Heights” a groundbreaking 21st century musical and the next chapter in the classic American dream story. With Grammy Award-winning music and lyrics as well as a book by 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, “In The Heights” is a cleverly crafted mixture of comedy and heart. The rich and eclectic score is a joyous mix of hip-hop, rap, jazz, pop, salsa, and merengue.
“In The Heights” is a show that incorporates music, a bilingual script, and dance,” said Roshunda Jones, theater director at Carver High School. “It is the story about love, poverty, and finding true belonging. It really is a universal story for everyone to enjoy.”
The students and production team found the musical challenging but a rewarding experience.
“Before I began this process, I thought I was pretty good, because of my Spanish classes, but once I started going over my script, I found it a little challenging,” said Auyana MeLancon, a senior at Carver High who plays the role of Nina Rosario in the musical. “I realized that I had to work a lot harder and get assistance from my bilingual cast members. Overall this was a rewarding experience for me.”
“It was different for us dancers,” said Erin Clark, a junior at the campus and a principal dancer in the production. “We watched videos for inspiration and incorporated dance moves we were familiar with and infused the two to produce a successful product. Our directors and choreographers were also a huge help.”
“ The production was educational by introducing the students to another culture and language,” said Jabari Collins, technical director and choreographer. “The students’ passion was inspiring to produce a memorable show.”
“The production at first seemed to be a large task, but the Carver family pulled every resource together to create a fantastic show,” said Kiana Day, musical director.
The Carver High production will also feature performances from Houston Academy and Drew Academy students as well as members from the Aldine Dance Company. In addition to Jones, Collins and Day, the theater production team includes Tamara Fleming, production assistant; Juan Polanco, vocal director, as well as choreographers Selina Baynard, and Sarita Salinas.
For more information, contact Roshunda Jones at 281-878-0310.
View images below from the Carver High production of the musical “In The Heights.”
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