BWW Feature: In The Heights at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
"Ay carajo, it's hot!" Can be heard at the Theater of the Performing Arts, but it's not due to the temperature on Washington Street in Hartford, CT it's about the temperature In The Heights. With a diverse and talented cast of thirty students from grades 10 through 12, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts' spring musical proudly presents "In The Heights" written by the Pulitzer-Prize Winning Writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, most famous for his recent creation: HAMILTON.
Infused with Hip Hop and Latin music, a large factor for choosing "In the Heights" was because the Academy could satisfy its diverse casting needs. To keep the choreography 'authentic' the director, Brian Jennings, did something he's never done before - allowed a student, junior Dajmon Peele, to contribute to the choreography for "96,000," one of the musical numbers in the show.
Photo by Christine Simoes
The cast features: Sofi Andrews, Esperanza Atkinson, Alexa Bradley, Raheem Brooks, Lilloni Brown, Karleita Cooper, Kaylee Correnti, Taylor Esposito, NydiAna Gonzalez, Jerry Hamilton, Olivia Herz, Ariana Locascio, Daniel Lopez, Miles Messier, Aamahri Nicholson, Tai Anthony Nigro, Cassandra Pagliaruli, Dajmon Peele, Anna Pitblado, Talia Quagliaroli, Jewels Rivera, Ana Nicole Rumley, Aleksei Sandals, Alonzo Santiago, Elyssia Santiago, Ryan Shearin, Micaela Toomey, Lynese Walcott, Sydney Weiser, and Aramis Yan-Rivera.
Auditions were held for a week in December in order to find the correct voices and dancers to fit the score and style of choreography needed.
"There's something about catching a young artist at an intersection in their lives when their paths are not yet determined and being able to impact their lives as they make their decisions. It's remarkable and rewarding. It's why so many of us stick around as long as we do," says Director Brian Jennings.
In The Heights is directed by Brian Jennings, Musical Direction by Melanie Guerin, Choreography by Christine Simoes, Stage Managed by Ashley Ward, Set Design by Karen Sparks Mellon, Lighting Design by Robyn E. Joyce, Costume Design by Gail Fresia, Sound Design by Greg Boucher, Prop Design by Rachel J Sinay, and Technical Direction by Rick Bonyun.
"In the Heights" opens on April 28th and has performances on April 29th, May 5th and 6th at 7:30 p.m. at the Theatre of the Performing Arts, 359 Washington Street in Hartford. Tickets are $15-25 for adults and $10-15 for students and seniors and are available online or by calling the box office at (860) 757-6388.