A 2019 Winter Production



February 7th - 15th, 2020

  • Fri, 2/7 at 7:00pm
  • Sat, 2/8 at 5:00pm (*special early show)
  • Thurs 2/13 at 7:00pm
  • Fri 2/14 at 7:00pm (*valentines day show)
  • Sat, 2/15 at 2:00pm
  • Sat, 2/15 at 7:00pm



Louden Nelson Community Theater
301 Center Street, Santa Cruz



Approx. 2.5 hours

$13 - Students & Seniors (over 62)

$16 - General Admission

$20 - Reserved Seating

** under 5 year olds free - in general admission area **


Live On Stage

Performed by talented local teens.

Live professional orchestra (including musicians from Flor de Caña).


In the Heights tells the universal 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. In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations.

In the Heights is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals.


The story explores three days in the characters' lives in the New York City Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights. The score features hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. 

In the hispanic community of Manhattan's Washington Heights, bodega owner Usnavi is dating Vanessa, who works in a beauty salon. He dreams of opening a bar in his home country, the Dominican Republic. Nina loves Benny, a shy young man who has worked for Nina's parents for years, but her father opposes their union because he wants Nina to finish her education at Stanford University. She doesn't want her father to bankrupt himself paying for the expensive school, but her father is prepared to sell his car-service business. "Abuela" Claudia, who raised Usnavi after the death of his parents, wins $96,000 in a numbers game.


Act 1 - It's before dawn and the stage is dark.

Alarm clock radios ring from scattered windows announcing a record-breaking heat wave today, July 3rd. As the sun rises we see the silhouette of the George Washington Bridge above the apartment buildings. Welcome to Washington Heights.

In the shadows a young man sprays graffiti onto a bodega awning, but his artistic reverie is interrupted when the store owner, Usnavi, enters and chases him away. Usnavi opens his bodega and supplies neighbours with their morning coffee and papers. We meet Abuela Claudia, who raised Usnavi, and Sonny, his young cousin who helps with the store. Everyone's stories and dreams pass through this modest store front: his friend Benny wants a promotion, the ladies who work at the salon want some gossip, and Vanessa, Usnavi's love interest, wants an apartment in a different part of town. Usnavi has a dream of his own: one day to return to the island of his roots, the Dominican Republic.

As the morning rush subsides Nina Rosario enters, home at last from her freshman year at Stanford. Usnavi is proud of her, and Abuela Claudia invites the neighbourhood star inside for a visit. But in a moment alone, Nina reveals that she struggled at college.

Meanwhile Nina's parents seek an emergency loan from the bank to keep their struggling taxi service afloat. They leave Benny, a young employee, in charge of the dispatch for the first time. Nina enters looking for her parents but finds Benny showing off his skills on the microphone.

At the hair salon across the street Vanessa has financial troubles of her own. Her mother drank away the money for the bills, and now their electricity is shut off. Vanessa dreams of escaping to a studio in the West Village: at the moment her only respite is a stop by Usnavi's bodega. Usnavi works up the courage to ask her out and she accepts.

Nina is helping Benny on the switchboard when her parents return. She becomes nervous and reveals to her parents that she lost her academic scholarship and dropped out of Stanford. Her father, Kevin, is devastated that he cannot provide tuition without the scholarship.

Nina seeks comfort from her friend Vanessa, but the salon owner, Daniela. sits her down for a makeover and gossip session. Daniela laments that this is her last day on the block. Due to a rent increase the salon is relocating to the Bronx. The best "bochinche" of the day is yet to come: someone bought a winning lottery ticket from Usnavi's bodega. Everyone on the block dreams of how they'd spend the small fortune. ($96,000) Abuela Claudia emerges amid the hubbub to feed the pigeons. She reflects on her childhood journey from Cuba to New York in 1943. remembering that her mother would say, "Patience and faith" along the journey. She reveals that she holds the winning lottery ticket.

As the sun begins to set, Nina and Benny find themselves alone on the street. Nina admits that she felt like an outsider at Stanford, and Benny says that being the only African-American in a Latino-run business can be intimidating. The two take a tour of the neighbourhood landmarks they grew up with. The stores close up for the evening as a piragua guy continues selling flavoured ice.

At the Rosario household, Camila (Nina's mother) has been cooking. Neighbours are enjoying the music and company when Kevin enters late, but with an announcement. He has sold Rosario's Car Service to pay for Nina's tuition. His news is met with anger: Benny has lost his job, Camila has lost her business. Nina vows not to accept the money. Nina follows Benny to a dance club. apologising, but he is furious about Kevin's decision. Vanessa and Usnavi enter the club and begin to dance. Tensions rise on the dance floor when, suddenly. the power goes out. Vanessa and Usnavi are separated in the darkness. With fireworks exploding in the sky, Nina and Benny find each other in the chaos and kiss.

Act 2 - The next morning

The light reveals Benny and Nina on his fire escape after spending the night together. Down on the street, Usnavi's bodega has been looted. His awning is ripped and his cash register gone. Abuela Claudia convinces Usnavi that together they should use her lottery winnings to relocate to the Dominican Republic. Usnavi agrees to get rid of his corner store and pursue his dream.

Nina's parents have been searching for her all night, and when they learn that she has been with Benny. Kevin is furious. Kevin vows that Benny will never be a part of the Rosario family because he is not Latino. The family is at a breaking point when Camila instructs them to get it together before it's too late.

It's high noon and the neighbours are frustrated by the extreme heat and continuing power outage. They muster enough energy for one last celebration before the bodega, the salon, and the dispatch shut their doors forever. The celebration continues onto another block when Kevin makes an announcement over the taxi radios: Abuela Claudia has passed away. The neighbours reunite on the sidewalk, this time to hold a vigil in honour of the block's matriarch. Usnavi and Nina look through boxes of Abuela Claudia's keepsakes—old lottery tickets and photos from the block's history. As Nina discovers photographs from her own high school graduation she decides to accept her father's sacrifice and return to Stanford. Her parents agree to sell the business, even if it means Kevin must return to being a mechanic.

Across the street, as Daniela closes her salon forever, she reveals one last bit of juicy news. She will cosign on Vanessa's dream apartment in the West Village, thanks to a little convincing from Usnavi. Vanessa brings Usnavi a bottle of champagne to celebrate and asks him to stay, but his mind is set on the Dominican Republic. Sonny laments that this is the end of an era.

Benny returns his uniform and car keys to Kevin. He will start planning his own business now. But he worries about his relationship with Nina: can they survive a long distance relationship without the blessing of her father? Nina and Benny stand together as the sun sets.

The next morning Usnavi wakes up early to begin closing up shop. He sees the businesses around him. Daniela's salon is closed. The Rosarió s Car Service sign is gone. In just a few weeks he'll be gone too, and the block will be completely changed. But Sonny's not content to leave without a trace. He has commissioned a graffiti mural of Abuela Claudia on the bodega's grate, and Graffiti Pete has stayed up all night completing the portrait. Sonny rolls down the bodega grate, revealing the memorial. Usnavi realises that this block is where his roots are, this "island" is where he will stay. He is home.

Musical numbers

  1. In the Heights - Usnavi, Company
  2. Breathe - Nina, Company
  3. Benny's Dispatch - Benny, Nina
  4. It Won't Be Long Now - Vanessa, Usnavi, Sonny
  5. Inutil - Kevin
  6. No Me Diga - Daniela, Carla, Vanessa, Nina
  7. 96,000 - Usnavi, Benny, Sonny, Vanessa, Daniela, Carla, Company
  8. Paciencia y Fe (Patience and Faith) - Abuela Claudia, Company
  9. When You're Home - Nina, Benny, Company
  10. Piragua - Piragua Guy
  11. Siempre (Always) - Camila
  12. The Club/Fireworks - Company
  13. Sunrise - Nina, Benny, Company
  14. Hundreds of Stories - Abuela Claudia, Usnavi
  15. Enough - Camila
  16. Carnaval del Barrio - Daniela, Company
  17. Atencion - Kevin
  18. Alabanza - Usnavi, Nina, Company
  19. Everything I Know - Nina
  20. No Me Diga (Reprise) - Daniela, Carla, Vanessa
  21. Champagne - Vanessa, Usnavi
  22. When the Sun Goes Down - Nina, Benny
  23. Finale - Usnavi, Company

Professional Auditions

  1. Bring a 24-32 measure song in your key with appropriate piano sheet music for the accompanist to play.
  2. Bring headshot and resume.
  3. Bring a prepared monologue of around 1/2 minute in length.
  4. Bring dance shoes and wear dance attire.


Do your research on the show and how to audition:



Ages 13-19 year olds

(Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
$745.00 Tuition

Tuition Payments must be made in one payment at the time of registration. We do offer some financial assistance to those who need it (see below) and we can offer a payment plan for those who require that as well. Please email our finance department to get a code to use during registration.

If you have any questions about this please contact us:


We offer scholarships!

If you require financial assistance please fill out the application below. There are no guarantees and all applications must be received by the first day of the program to be considered.


Scholarship / Financial Aid Information

In addition, we offer a deferred payment plan (DPP) for families who cannot pay the lump sump upfront. Please email for more details.



Cast of Characters

  • USNAVI DE LA VEGA (20-30, Latino) Youthful, awkward, sincere Dominican owner of a convenience store. Urban, articulate, funny, harbors a crush on the local salon beauty. Not a “cool stud.” Narrator. SINGS, RAPS VERY WELL, DANCES


  • SONNY (20-30, Latino) Young, smart-alecky, wise and dry cousin to Usnavi. Tough and smart Dominican, has big plans for himself and his neighborhood. Great comedy chops. SINGS UPPER RANGE, RAPS VERY WELL, DANCES


  • NINA ROSARIO (20-30, Latina) Fresh, smart college student. Brave and strong Puerto Rican girl, but has to tell her parents that she quit school months ago. Emotional and conflicted, but still the “star” of the neighborhood. Demanding role, lots of singing. VERY STRONG SINGER, DANCES, STRONG ACTRESS


  • VANESSA (20-30, Latina) Sexy, hardened, stylist at the local salon. Has a troubled home life, wishes to get out and into something better. Tired of all the whistles and catcalls, looking for a true love. Ethnic, but definitely American. STRONG BELT SINGER, STRONG DANCER


  • BENNY (20-30, Black, White, Asian or any other non-Latino) Strong, smart, masculine worker at the Rosario Taxi dispatch. Very ambitious, urban, and full of big dreams. Handsome, bright, and harbors a crush on the “boss’s daughter.” VERY STRONG SINGER, GOOD DANCER, STRONG ACTOR/RAPPER


  • ABUELA CLAUDIA (50-60, Latina) Sweet, caring, and supportive Cuban matriarch of the neighborhood. Takes care of all the young people, and regularly plays the lottery. A wise character with strength, passion, and a long memory. A powerful actress, singer and story-teller. STRONG SINGER, STRONG ACTRESS


  • KEVIN ROSARIO (40-50, Latino) Puerto Rican born father to Nina. Owns and runs a taxi dispatch with his wife, Camila. Traditional, hard-working Latin father, over-protective, loving, but also has a temper. STRONG SINGER, STRONG ACTOR


  • CAMILA ROSARIO (40-50, Latina) The smart, caring “business” half of the Rosarios. She takes care of the bills and business, but usually holds her tongue in the presence of her husband. Dynamic Puerto Rican woman, with a powerful voice and presence that gets unleashed when she’s had “ENOUGH”!!! STRONG SINGER, STRONG ACTRESS


  • DANIELA (35-50, Latina) Sassy Puerto Rican owner of the local hair and nail salon. Loves to gossip, has a tough exterior, but enjoys being “The Boss.” Her salon rent keeps going up, so, sadly she is moving to the Bronx. Great comedy chops and timing. Think Miranda Priestly meets Sofia Vergara. VERY STRONG SINGER, STRONG COMIC ACTRESS


  • CARLA (20-30, Latina) Bubbly, funny, side-kick to Daniela. Very sweet and religious. Supportive friend to the salon trio. Good at playing “dizzy or bird-brained.” STRONG SINGER, GOOD AT COMEDY GRAFFITI


  • PETE (20-30, Any ethnicity) Young, urban, slick graffiti artist of the neighborhood. Slightly shady, but with a good heart. He doesn’t see his “art” as a bad thing, wants to make a difference while making a living. Need an excellent hip-hop or break dancer. VERY STRONG DANCER, RAPS WELL


  • PIRAGUA GUY (30-50, Latino) The town-crier. Sells shaved ice from a cart, has a soaring tenor voice, reflects on how the people in the neighborhood “keep scraping by.” Charismatic and important role. SINGS VERY WELL, DANCES


  • SOME MEN AND WOMEN OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS (20-50, Latino, Latina, Black, Asian, White) Interesting, diverse and well-rounded people of the community. All shapes and sizes. As important as any of the principals, these people have stories of their own. We would like to see more than just great singers and dancers. Bring your strength, your vulnerability, your history, your sass, your humor and your love and pride from your ancestors. Challenging part singing and modern dance moves. VERY STRONG SINGERS/READERS, HIP-HOP and LATIN MOVES/ACRO TRICKS

Rehearsal Location

831-345-6340 •

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