Bob Jones Musical Sure to be a Showstopper

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Every other year, the Bob Jones theatre department puts on a musical.  Fortunately, 2015 happens to be one of those years.  So what musical is our award-winning theatre department putting on this year?  This April, they are putting on the Tony Award winning musical In The Heights.  Opening night will be on Thursday, April 23rd.  There will be evening performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and a matinee on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., all in the Zompa auditorium.  Tickets will be $10 for students (K-12) and $12 for adults.

In The Heights follows Usnavi, a small grocery store owner, as he and the Hispanic community that come through his store endure the joys and sorrows of life.  The musical is set in the Washington Heights neighborhood within New York City, and the cast consists of 50 people, which is a vast number.  But, as Erin Shockey expresses, “They couldn’t have casted anyone better for all of these roles.”

This year’s musical is quite a switch from “classical” musicals that Bob Jones has performed in the past.  In The Heights is a modern, dance-heavy musical.

“It’s hip-hop with a Latin flair,” says Chris Gunner (Usnavi), describing the musical’s dancing.  Members of the cast have even taken salsa lessons to prepare for the dance numbers.

In the Heights not only features hip-hop inspired music, but it also features rapping.

“It’s a gamble to do something not as known, but I am passionate about doing something that is modern that will connect to the kids,”  Ms. Davis, the director of In the Heights, states.  “They’ll love the story…Even though it is in a Hispanic neighborhood, the themes of family, love, and knowing where you belong, that’s universal.”

Not only does In The Heights offer an exciting twist on entertainment, but it offers a refreshing insight into Hispanic culture.

As Emily McDowell, who plays the lead Nina Rosario, expresses “…the way they celebrate and the way they view things is family-based and relationship-based.  And it’s not all about money and success and the things you earn, but it’s also about the relationships that you carry through the life that you are given.”  In The Heights isn’t about one character’s journey, Emily states, “it’s about the journey of the community.”

With the amount of work and passion that the cast and members behind the scenes have put into the musical to make it possible this year, In the Heights is sure to be a showstopper.  As freshman lead Guerin Tidwell, who plays Sonny, conveys, “It (the musical) is very tiresome and time-consuming, but it’s entirely worth it.”

Be sure to buy a ticket for In the Heights, which Student Director Kristen Alley describes as “modern, exciting, and inspirational.”

 

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