Kansas City Kansas Community College students are sharing the stage with high school students, community members and even alumni to tell the story of a neighborhood in New York City in the musical “In the Heights.”
Set in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, “In the Heights” is a production that uses musical styles such as hip hop, salsa, Caribbean and rap to tell the story of a close-knit Latin community. Written by Quiara Alegria Hudes, the musical opened on Broadway in 2008, winning four Tony Awards, including one for best musical. “In the Heights” opens at 8 p.m. Oct. 17, with additional performances at 8 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19 as well as at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20. All performances are in the Performing Arts Center on the KCKCC campus, 7250 State Ave.
“We like to do shows to reflect our community,” said Charles Leader, director of “In the Heights” and theater professor at KCKCC. “It is coming along really well.”
An area that used to be referred to as “Spanish Harlem,” the musical centers on a neighborhood around 181st Street in New York. The residents have immigrated from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and the musical focuses on the hopes and dreams of the diverse population.
The cast includes Jameson Donaghy, Francisco Javier Villegas, Lauren Irving, Joseph Serrano, Sarah Montoya, Christopher Miller, Stephanie Marriot, Breanna Danielle, Timisha Rhodes, Jennifer Coville, Esperanza Pavon-Vega and Sylvester Carter. Four of the actors are students at Wyandotte High School and others live in the Wyandotte County community. The band is made up of professional musicians from throughout the Kansas City area, led by Lenora Remmert. Choreography is being handled by Michael Joy and Paula Lang, both members of the Friends of Alvin Ailey Company.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. All KCKCC students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with proper identification. For more information on the musical or to make reservations, call 913-288-7106.
- Story from Kelly Rogge, Kansas City Kansas Community College