Shows "I"

IN THE HEIGHTS Music Lin-Manuel Miranda; Lyrics Lin-Manuel Miranda; Book Quiara Alegría Hudes 37 Arts Theater, Off-Broadway - 8 February, 2007; closed on July 15, 2007 Richard Rodgers Theatre, Broadway - 9 March, 2008 SYNOPSIS The story explores three days in the characters' lives in the New York City Latino neighbourhood of Washington Heights. The score features hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. In the hispanic community of Manhattan's Washington Heights, 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. Nina loves Benny, a shy young man who has worked for Nina's parents for years, but her father opposes their union because he wants Nina to finish her education at Stanford University. She doesn't want her father to bankrupt himself paying for the expensive school, but her father is prepared to sell his car-service business. "Abuela" Claudia, who raised Usnavi after the death of his parents, wins $96,000 in a numbers game. STORY Act 1 - It's before dawn and the stage is dark. Alarm clock radios ring from scattered windows announcing a record-breaking heat wave today, July 3rd. As the sun rises we see the silhouette of the George Washington Bridge above the apartment buildings. Welcome to Washington Heights. In the shadows a young man sprays graffiti onto a bodega awning, but his artistic reverie is interrupted when the store owner, Usnavi, enters and chases him away. Usnavi opens his bodega and supplies neighbours with their morning coffee and papers. We meet Abuela Claudia, who raised Usnavi, and Sonny, his young cousin who helps with the store. Everyone's stories and dreams pass through this modest store front: his friend Benny wants a promotion, the ladies who work at the salon want some gossip, and Vanessa, Usnavi's love interest, wants an apartment in a different part of town. Usnavi has a dream of his own: one day to return to the island of his roots, the Dominican Republic. As the morning rush subsides Nina Rosario enters, home at last from her freshman year at Stanford. Usnavi is proud of her, and Abuela Claudia invites the neighbourhood star inside for a visit. But in a moment alone, Nina reveals that she struggled at college. Meanwhile Nina's parents seek an emergency loan from the bank to keep their struggling taxi service afloat. They leave Benny, a young employee, in charge of the dispatch for the first time. Nina enters looking for her parents but finds Benny showing off his skills on the microphone. At the hair salon across the street Vanessa has financial troubles of her own. Her mother drank away the money for the bills, and now their electricity is shut off. Vanessa dreams of escaping to a studio in the West Village: at the moment her only respite is a stop by Usnavi's bodega. Usnavi works up the courage to ask her out and she accepts. Nina is helping Benny on the switchboard when her parents return. She becomes nervous and reveals to her parents that she lost her academic scholarship and dropped out of Stanford. Her father, Kevin, is devastated