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In the Heights, winner of the 2008 Tony Award for best musical, opens February 24 in the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus. The show, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist and star of Broadway’s groundbreaking show Hamilton, is centered on a barrio or neighborhood in New York.

In the Heights is a giant celebration of Latino culture; and Montgomery College is so diverse, it is the perfect place to perform it, says performance major, Briana Taylor, who plays Nina in the show.

Raymond Caldwell, the director, says, “It is a chance to explore a Latino narrative… It’s also an urban narrative. There is a hip-hop undertone to the show and it is a fabulous story.”

Caldwell was the 2009 recipient of Arena’s Stage Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship and was a member of the staff for six seasons. Now a resident-director and lecturer in the department of Theatre Arts at Howard University, he says the audience and the student performers will really get to “experience contemporary musical theatre” with this show.

“Every single scene, every single song will blow you away,” said Danie Rodriguez, a theatre major, who plays the role of the Usnavi. “There’s a reason why the show won four Tony awards.”

In addition to the award for best musical, In the Heights earned Tony awards for best score, choreography and orchestration.

In the Heights opens Wednesday February 24 and runs through Sunday February 28 at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the Rockville Campus, located at 51 Mannakee Street. Information on show times and ticket purchases can be found here. To see a preview of the show, click here.

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