The Advocate

In the Heights highlights the beauty of diversity

Beni Benyei, Staff Writer

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Mayo High School’s drama department, Mayo Stage Door, put on their yearly fall musical running November 16th through the 19th. This year’s musical was In The Heights by Quiara Alegría Hudes.

I went to go see the show Sunday, November 19th, the final show. Although having helped as the publicist in the musical and knowing the general gist of the play, I had never seen the final production, only bits and pieces of practices. Finally I could watch it!

The opening scene really set the stage for an awesome show. To start, the set was incredible. I could see just how much hard work and effort was put into building this neighborhood; it was one of the most beautiful and intricate sets I have ever seen on our Mayo stage. The singing, the dancing, and the acting made the scenery and characters come alive, truly capturing the spirit of this beautiful, evoking musical.

In The Heights is set in a close-knit minority-rich neighborhood block in New York City named Washington Heights. As the scenes blended together, the crews, musicians and actors slowly began painting a story in front of our eyes, a story that shared the true spirit of Hispanic culture. There was such a sense of hope, excitement, fear, mourning, struggle and love shining through each member and into the crowd. Many times, I was speechless and in awe.

In The Heights was a very large production (and not just the set), bursting with Spanish culture and depth. The language was new to much of the cast, still they managed to display it in an attractive, honest way. As the curtains closed on the final bow and the recognition portion of the program was displayed, I couldn’t help but feel such a sense of emotion, achievement, and family. Our Mayo Stage Door crew should be proud of the amazing production they put on. No challenge is too big for them, and there is no doubt more outstanding drama yet to come in the near future.

This was an incredibly important play because it highlighted the beauty of diversity and the better understanding of a culture: a true masterpiece. Musicals may not be for all, but the contemporary topic, style, slang, and music (especially the rap) were enough to entertain anyone, maybe even change the way we see the world, which is the ultimate goal. Congratulations Mayo Stage Door!

 

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