On April 10, 2019, the Chabot College Theater Department presented “In the Heights,” a musical that gives you a feeling of strength, compassion, and mindset to deal with everyday life in the wake of tragedy. If you like dancing, singing, and a fantastic message you are going to love “In The Heights” as much as I did.
Created by Lin Manuel Miranda and directed by Dov Hassan this musical gives you raw emotion and hope. The issues about money, death, and community life touch something special that makes you feel like you’re getting to know new friends and learning some Spanish along the way.
“In The Heights” brings friends, family, and community together in a way like no other. The set was simple, yet everything had its place. The tight-knit community is a real example of “it takes a village to raise children right,” and that’s what you feel when you’re watching this play.
The 26 members in the cast and the ensemble came together as one unit but, it wasn’t just the cast that made this production come to life. The production team, running crew, front of the house, reprographics, technical crew, and the administrative team all put together something that needs to be shown to the world.
Everyone has a place in this magnificent production. The whole cast played a significant part in this production. I believe they all captured their role and captivated the audiences at the same time.
Chaton Cleveland, a play attendee that has seen two Chabot College theater productions sat in the third-row program in hand with the light in her eyes.
“This is better than the first one I saw. I love Nia Rosario (Ariel McEtchin) and the Priauga guy (Seth Mijares). Whoever did the choreography did an amazing job. It just works, and you have so many things to look at,” Cleveland stated during the 10-minute intermission.
“However, I’m kind of partial because Benny (George Gill) is my brother,” states Cleveland while settling back into her seat for the second half of the play.
A key player in this production was Abuela Claudia (Joanne Lopez). Her role as the community heart was incredible. It caused the crowd to reflect on how strong family bonds can be.
Abuela Claudia was Usnavi’s (Jose Avalos) grandmother and is basically the grandmother of the community because everybody referred to her as Abuela, which means grandma in Spanish.
Door attendant Young Tommy thought the play was very entertaining. The audience felt the same considering they gave a standing ovation.
I would encourage everyone to see the master production like Chabot student Chris Watton. “I want everyone to see this. It’s worth way more than $10,” Watton states while exiting Stage One.
I give this play 10 out of 10 it’s a great production that is full of life lessons.