In the Heights Review


Last week, Thursday, March 17th, the cast of the spring musical ‘In the Heights’ performed their opening night performance, the first since Covid-19 shut down schools. Directed by KHS’s teacher of the year, Ms. Gonzalez, this year’s spring musical was a bright and culturally inclusive experience. 

The lead male protagonist, Usnavi De La Vega was played by Senior Gabriel De Los Santos; rapping at great speed and timing, it almost seemed as if the character was made for him.

Lead female protagonist Vanessa was played by an understudy Bianca Bringo for all three shows. In the last minute span of 3-4 days before the play, Bringo performed with a voice like no other, memorizing lines and choreo saving the day for opening night.

Actors Alyssa Paucar and Justin Ariass Castillo playing Nina Rosario and Benny displayed great chemistry on stage, having set/light manager Mr. Bednarczyk gush over them too. 

The entire cast had begun practicing mid-winter and showed another great performance as tradition every year here at KHS. The majority of the cast have performed before as most are seniors and have worked with Ms. Gonzalez over the past years.

However, cut short two years after the attempt to perform the Addams Family back in the 2019-2020 school year, the cast of In the Heights came back stronger than ever proving that a two year absence means nothing to talent. 

The Kearnian had an opportunity to talk to two of the cast members, Marissa Costa playing fun Carla and Angela Alves as the beloved Abuela Claudia. 


Q: As Seniors, how does it feel to end the musical in your last year, what memories do you cherish the most?

M: Honestly it’s not going to be my last musical because I’m doing musical theater when I graduate, so I’m not sad about letting the last musical in high school go, it’s more of like, I’m never going to work with the same people again. That’s kinda what I’ll miss.

A: It’s sad, because it’s over, but at the same time I’m glad. It was physically and mentally straining, you put yourself through all that so you could get the end product, which was amazing. I’m really going to miss it; as a senior, I wish I could go back to freshman year and do it all over again. 


Q: How do you feel about doing the first musical since covid struck? 

M: It’s been really refreshing, since covid struck, because we haven’t done this in a while and, I was very excited to go back and start new and get going. 

A: An honor in itself, honestly. There were a lot of expectations, obviously, because it was the first show in a long time. The pressure was there, but it was worth it. 


Q: What were the biggest difficulties in preparation for the musical?

M: Honestly the biggest difficulties are the learning music parts, cause there were a lot of new people who didn’t understand how to learn the music or the key or even how the musical worked. 

A: Probably remembering all of my notes. With the songs comes a lot of notes, especially as an alto. Remembering all of the changes in notes was really hard. 


Q: How would you describe the musical?

M: For me it means like a community, like a sense of gathering where you may not like each other at the beginning but towards the end you just move past it and become a family in the end. 

A: It’s not all pretty and pink. There are disputes and disagreements. However, in the end we are a family and we all love each other. We all have a common goal, which is to give our best and have an amazing show. 


It is safe to say the musical was a raging success. The coordinators, cast and crew all did an amazing job at bringing the beautiful story of In the Heights to life. Beautiful interpreted songs, great acting skills and good chemistry were all factors that made this year’s musical unforgettable show. A big congratulations to all of them!