Anna Bowen as Vanessa

Luis Escobar

Anna Bowen as Vanessa

‘In the Heights’ Is an End-of-summer Crowd-Pleaser

PCPA Stages Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Urban Musical

In the Heights is a contemporary, Latin-infused hip-hop musical that brings the constructs of the classic, feel-good stage show into the 21st century. PCPA’s production of this vibrant, urban musical features impressive choreography and spirited renditions of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s now recognizable style of clever lyrics delivered with rapid-fire precision. Staged in Solvang Festival Theater’s outdoor amphitheater, In the Heights offers audiences the vision of a neighborhood, Washington Heights in New York City, on the verge of gentrification in this upbeat summer musical.

In this story more about the location than the characters who inhabit it, members of In the Heights’s diverse community search for the true meaning of “home” and “identity.” Usnavi (George Walker) runs a small market with his cousin Sonny (Matt Cárdenas) and imagines what life would be like if he had the money to return to his parents’ homeland, the Dominican Republic, or the “skills” to ask out pretty hairdresser Vanessa (Anna Bowen). Nina (Gabriella Pérez) returns home from her first year at Stanford University after having lost her scholarship and has to break the news to her proud parents. Abuela Claudia (Debra Cardona), the neighborhood matriarch, watches over her adopted family from the stoop.

It’s midsummer, and the block is changing: The working-class people of Washington Heights, who will be displaced by the neighborhood’s development, explore the nature of their lives as immigrants and the children of immigrants and rediscover the importance and vitality of their community. By Tony winner Miranda and Pulitzer winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, and directed by Michael Jenkinson, PCPA’s In the Heights is a lively production with colorful characters and design, sure to be an end-of-summer crowd-pleaser.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Both Side Draw Blood in Dario Pini Trial

The courtroom drama opened with questions about who should have control over how many properties.

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets Over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.