SoBroSol Presents: “In The Heights”
Sobrosol brings Washington Heights Manhattan all the way to Anchorage, Alaska! to tell stories of Latinx culture for 6 nights at Bartlett High School Theater. “In the Heights”, the Tony Award Winning Musical by Lin Manuel Miranda is a show you don’t want to miss! Experience the laughs, cries, and everything in between as we take you on a journey into the lives of the community of Washington Heights, New York.
Sobrosol is a Latinx cultural organization that promotes inclusivity in the Alaskan community. Washington Heights, like Alaska has an amazing social dynamic of cultures and experiences that everyone in the audience can relate to. Maybe you can relate to being the cycle-breaker in your family to attend a university? Or perhaps, you’ve been adopted by elders in your community that you may not be related to, but they choose to pour into your life and provide you with guidance to help you navigate through life. All of these “characters” represent the vast majority of real people that have endured the very same hardships and found a way to press on. These are the real experiences that Sobrosol wants to share with you.
The “In the Heights” production consists of over 50 people that have a shared understanding of the vision of Sobrosol and the talent being assembled for this show is nothing short of extraordinary.
The executive producer of the show, Dan Alfalla, hails from Bronx, NY, just a short walk from where our show is set. He’s got a tremendous amount of knowledge that he is using to really put this show over-the-top. Alfalla is also the founder and Executive Director of Sobrosol. His efforts to assemble the best talent and bring Washington Heights to life on stage has yielded a remarkable assemblage of some of Alaska’s most amazing talent.
Musical Director Steven Alvarez’s brilliant talent for music has truly been a great asset to the cast as he brings to life the heartbeat and music of our Washington Heights streets.
Dance Director and Head Choreographer, Irenerose Castillo, brings our set to life with hip hop and modern contemporary moves. Her gift of interpreting emotion into movement will be well appreciated by all who see the show.
Stage Director David Block, a veteran of the Alaska theater scene, brings his encyclopedia of experience and gravitas to share with an eager cast.
SoBroSol has been able to assemble a majority Latinx / BI-POC cast and production team. They are proving to be true to their stated mission of empowering these communities to share culture and stories through the arts. In addition to the efforts of SoBroSol, various community organizations have been simply amazing in opening their arms offering assistance to help this production become a reality.
Many of the cast and crew have worked with each other before. The shared memories of going to high school together and taking part in other shows prior to “In The Heights’’ adds another layer of comfort between cast members. Newcomers to the cast are treated to a unique camaraderie that comes from interacting and learning from their fellow artists and fellow members of the Latinx, BI-POC and LGBTQ communities where there is a shared understanding of hardships and social injustices that brings everyone closer together.
SoBroSol is taking extraordinary measures to ensure a genuine and honest cultural portrayal, like engaging Anaya Latin Dance for some special Cuban Latin dance choreography and dance features and utilizing the experiences of cast members that are a part of the Hispanic and Latinx community to share their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture and provide a genuine organic authenticity for the audience to enjoy and other cast members to learn from. Alfalla has made it very clear to the cast members in the show, “We do not want to hear your fake accents.” Every character in this show represents someone’s story. Their story is to be respected, understood, and presented in an authentic way with a genuine heart. There is no faking anything- not even accents.
Many cast members are in fact of Hispanic and Latinx descent while others are not. The diversity of the cast and crew mirrors the original production and is essential to the success of the show. Chris Mendoza, playing the role of Usnavi is from Long Beach, California and has attended UAA to perfect his talents. You may have seen him in the Renaissance Fair alongside other actors. Playing the role of Nina, we have Denali Romero who is also a member of Sobrosol. Not only does she sing but she also plays guitar, bass, and other instruments as well.
Service members are well represented as well! Playing the role of Benny is Kendrick Horton, born in Phoenix, Arizona, and currently serving on JBER in the U.S Air Force. We also have Trinity Colvin who was born right here in Anchorage, Alaska. You may have heard her sing in local showcases as well as with the 9th Army band. Zaide Manzano, also known as Dela Rosa, will be playing the pivotal role of Abuela Claudia. Dela Rosa has an adoring fan base from Mad Myrnas. Rounding out the cast are Kendra and Mercedes Arciniega, Irilea McKnight, Lana Ramos, Denise Baez, Joey Donovan and Mike “Nicassi” Villar, along with a remarkable chorus and dancer ensemble.
“In the Heights” will be performed at Bartlett Theatre May 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22.
Tickets are available via Eventbright http://Eventbright.com and through the link on the SoBroSol website http://www.sobrosol.org
You can also follow SoBroSol on facebook at http://facebook.com/sobrosol
Tickets are in high demand so make sure to get yours early.