SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – A mix of Latin jazz and rap will fill downtown Scotch Plains this weekend as the Senior Company (entering grades 6-12) of  S.T.A.R.S. Theatre presents In the Heights on Friday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 11, at 3:00 p.m. on the Alan Augustine Village Green, Park Ave, in downtown Scotch Plains.  Admission is free and be sure to bring chairs.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s debut Broadway musical won four 2008 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score.   The musical tells the story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood-a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you and which ones you leave behind.

The amazing, hard-working and talented cast is made up of Scotch-Plains and Fanwood teens that started auditions in May and have been rehearsing weekly since early June. 

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The Friday Night and Saturday Afternoon cast will be: Usnavi: David Gomez; Nina: Olivia Gomez; Benny: Robbie Dobies; Vanessa: Maya Handler; Abuela Claudia: Rica Lopez; Kevin Rosario: Gavin Lesnevich; Camila Rosario: Amelia Sherman; Daniela: Sherin Kachroo; Carla: Lauren Mirenda Sonny: Sophia Mekbeb; Graffiti Pete: Jordan Mirrione; Piragua Guy: Dylan Fitzgerald; Radio Voice: Normandie Beversluis; Rosa: Charlie Pollock; Isabella: Bridget Hernandez; Valerie: Melania Mendes; Gabriella: Marisa Singh; Andrea: Reagan Hickey; Nicki: Samantha Lionetti; Jamie: Grayson Kelly; Taylor: Shannon McGuinness; Morgan: Molly Semel; Alex: Hannah Brodsky; Frankie: Heather Sherman; Young Nina: Hailey Kaplan; Residents of Washington Heights: Rachael Pinsky, Abigail Griffiths, Lauren Cunningham, Normandie Beversluis, Hailey Kaplan, Mackenzie Crimmins, Kayla Fiore, Grace Sweeney, Katie Echols, Ashley Sekiya, Abigail Noriega, Jordan Mirrione, Thomas Barnes, and Taylor Mingoia.

The Saturday Night and Sunday Afternoon cast will be:

Usnavi: David Gomez; Nina: Mackenzie Crimmins; Benny: Robbie Dobies; Vanessa: Kayla Fiore; Abuela Claudia: Rica Lopez; Kevin Rosario: Gavin Lesnevich; Camila Rosario: Grace Sweeney; Daniela: Katie Echols; Carla: Ashley Sekiya; Sonny: Abigail Noriega; Graffiti Pete: Isobel Bruce; Piragua Guy: Thomas Barnes; Radio Voice: Normandie Beversluis; Rosa: Charlie Pollock; Isabella: Bridget Hernandez; Valerie: Melania Mendes; Gabriella: Marisa Singh; Andrea: Reagan Hickey; Nicki: Taylor Mingoia; Jamie: Grayson Kelly; Taylor: Shannon McGuinness; Morgan: Molly Semel; Alex: Hannah Brodsky; Frankie: Heather Sherman; Young Nina: Hailey Kaplan; Residents of Washington Heights: Rachael Pinsky, Abigail Griffiths, Lauren Cunningham, Normandie Beversluis, Hailey Kaplan, Olivia Gomez, Maya Handler, Amelia Sherman, Sherin Kachroo, Lauren Mirenda, Sophia Mekbeb, and Dylan Fitzgerald.

S.T.A.R.S. Theatre is a local children’s performing arts group sponsored by the Township of Scotch Plains Recreation Department.  It was started 12 years ago by two SPFHS juniors, and participation has continued to grow to each summer under the direction of Gailmarie Sprague.   

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