A hot fusion of Latin music and New York City vibe has filled Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) for the last few weeks of rehearsals for of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” which runs July 25-Aug. 4.
This Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of life in Washington Heights, a tight-knit community 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. This is not the barrio of gangs and drugs, but the home of American-dreaming immigrants and their children from diverse Hispanic backgrounds. The neighborhood is on the brink of change and sometimes the biggest struggles can be deciding what traditions to take with you.
“In the Heights,” through special arrangement with Rogers and Hammerstein, brings together over 20 college and high school student performers from Springville, East Aurora, Ellicottville and Gowanda.
“It’s given me the opportunity to do something I enjoy not only with the people I grew up with, but with new faces too,” said Jordan Dubay, who plays Benny.
The cast began rehearsals before school was out in June.
Deb Gill, who plays Carla, added, “It’s not always easy to find programs in small communities that can bring artists together to work as a team. This is a really unique opportunity and I am so thankful to be a part of it.”
“In the Heights” is being produced and directed by a team of five interns, hailing from universities ranging from Loyola in Chicago to SUNY Potsdam in the North Country.
This is SCA’s second summer of the children’s theater intern program.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Dubay. “The cast gets new theater artists to work with in the summer, each with fresh, new ideas and perspectives. At the same time, the interns have the opportunity to get some real-life experience producing a show.”
The production is supported by Springville Youth Incorporated and M&T Bank.
This musical opens Thursday, July 25 in the Carol Mongerson Theater, 37 North Buffalo St., Springville, with a special “pay what you can with a can” preview night. Audience members may pay any amount with the donation of a non-perishable item for a local food pantry.
Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $15 for adults and are available online at www.SpringvilleArts.org, by calling (716) 592-9038 or visiting the box office at Arts Underground, 66 East Main St. in Springville.