By Lauren Boykin | Contributor
In the Heights is lighting up the stage in Plano June 18-27! North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre is proud to present the phenomenon by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) that became a musical sensation on Broadway and went on to win four Tony Awards (including Best Musical and Best Score) and is now a major motion picture. The story explores three days in the characters’ lives in New York’s vibrant Washington Heights. 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 you leave behind.
The cast and crew connect with this remarkable story of family, community, and legacy.
Directing the production is NTPA Repertory Artistic Director, Daniel Dean Miranda. He remembers the first time he saw the show he was emotional and speechless. “This show was the first time I saw my culture represented on stage in a positive manner. It made me proud of my culture and the sense of community and home it provides,” said Miranda. “This story, In the Heights, is my parents’ story, it’s my story, and it will continue to be my family’s story. My parents came from Mexico to America for a better life. My dad worked hard to provide for us and my mom kept the values intact. This show connected me to my roots. It made me understand all the sacrifices my parents made for our family that I took for granted. Many of the conversations I have had with my parents were right in front of me, on stage. The line that sticks out to me is Camila’s line, ‘What makes you think that we wouldn’t do anything and everything for you.’ My mother has literally said that to me many times. Everyone will see a bit of their own family, their own home in this story. That’s the beauty of this show.”
Tomas Moquete plays the lead Usnavi De La Vega. “Usnavi is a dream role of a mine – he is the heartbeat of the streets,” said Moquete. “ Usnavi would do anything for his people; he is proud of his multicultural community and their legacy. I don’t know of a better time to share this story then this time right now! In the Heights welcomes all people to find what home means to them, no matter who you are. It is the soul of what our parents left behind so we can be where we are today.”
The cast includes NTPA Repertory Veterans Tomas Moquete (Usnavi), Pamela Anglero (Nina), Esteban Vilchez (Kevin), Anthony J. Ortega (Piraguero), Michael Valderas, Sophia Garcia, with Rachel Nabarrete (Vanessa), Zachariah Medina (Sonny), Vinnie Witherspoon (Benny), Jen Quiros Berros (Camila), Jackie Castillo (Daniela), Zevity Lopez (Carla), Johnathan Ramos (Graffiti Pete), Layla Brent-Tompkins, and Sofia Warren. Music direction is by Anthony Holmes, choreography by Leah Flores and stage management by Ruby Pullum.
“Everyone will see a bit of their own family, their own home in this story. That’s the beauty of this show.”
This brash and energetic production only has 8 performances with limited seating and livestream options. In the Heights performs June 18-27 in the Rodenbaugh Theatre at Willow Bend Center of the Arts, 6121 W. Park Blvd. B216, Plano, TX 75093. Masks are required for patrons. Vaccinated adults may remove masks once seated in the theatre.
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda / Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes / Conceived By Lin-Manuel Miranda.
For more information and tickets go to ntparep.org.
About North Texas Performing Arts
North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to developing the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment. NTPA evolved from Plano Children’s Theatre founded three decades ago and is now the largest youth theatre organization in the country. NTPA is headquartered at Willow Bend Center of the Arts in Plano and has additional performance and educational spaces in Fairview, Frisco, and Dallas. Each year NTPA provides opportunities to more than 11,000 students ages three to 18 through its “Ten Characters” leadership development program. NTPA’s professional artistic staff uses theatre, dance, music, voice, film and TV to ignite a lifelong passion for the performing arts and guide young people on a path to becoming better citizens in our community and our world.
About North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre
North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre is the professional adult theatre company within the 501(c)3 non-profit North Texas Performing Arts family of theatres. The mission of the NTPA Repertory Theatre is to deliver professional-quality theatrical entertainment that inspires audiences and empowers artists from Broadway to the ‘Burbs. NTPA Repertory was named the 2019 Best Adult Theatre Company of Plano.