In The Heights

By Kerline Batista11th Grade, Marble Hill High School for International Studies In The Heights is an extraordinary musical that tells the tale of Usnavi and his community in Washington Heights, the primarily Hispanic neighborhood located at the top of Manhattan. As a person who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, this is the closest connection I have ever felt to a play. Usnavi is a twenty-year-old orphan who runs the corner bodega. He takes care of Abuela Claudia, the woman who “practically raised him” and his younger cousin Sonny, while also dealing with his feelings for Vanessa, a friend who works down the street. Usnavi’s neighbor, Nina, returns from Stanford for the summer and struggles to tell her parents that she lost her scholarship. She becomes involved with her father’s employee, Benny. Nina teaches Benny some Spanish, which is a common thing for Latinos — to want to share our language with our friends. A highlight of the show is Jordin Sparks (from American Idol!) as Nina, along with the music and choreography, which are completely astonishing — mixing up salsa, meringue, and even rap. The set, with the view of the George Washington Bridge behind the picture-perfect bodega, looks completely authentic. In The Heights is the story of people dealing with decisions, struggles and relationships— everyone will be able to relate to it. Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. TICKETS: $26.50 lottery rush • Richard Rogers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St. www.intheheightsthemusical.com