Festival Playhouse to Present ‘In the Heights’

The Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College will present “In the Heights,” its final production of the academic year, from May 11-14 at the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St., in Kalamazoo. The musical, written by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, maintains the season’s theme, “Broadway Firsts: Stories of ‘Outsider’ Cultural Landmarks in American Theatre.”

In the Heights

The cast of “In The Heights” celebrates as they sing “Carnaval Del Barrio.”

The Broadway show premiered in 2008, exploring three days in the lives of several characters from the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. The score features hip-hop, Latin, salsa, merengue and soul music.

Bodega owner Usnavi is dating Vanessa, who works in a beauty salon. He dreams of opening a bar in his home country, the Dominican Republic. He soon realizes he sold a winning lottery ticket worth $96,000, prompting others in the neighborhood to discuss how Usnavi and Claudia, who raised Usnavi after the death of his parents, would spend the money.

Nina loves Benny, a shy, young African-American man who worked for Nina’s parents for years. Nina’s father opposes their relationship because he wants Nina to finish her education at Stanford University. She doesn’t want her father to bankrupt himself paying for her education, but her father is prepared to sell his car-service business for her sake.

The shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11-Saturday, May 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 14. Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their school ID. The general public may purchase tickets online or call the Playhouse box office at 269-337-7333 for more information. Reservations are encouraged.

For more information, visit the Festival Playhouse website.