Countryside Community Theatre's “In the Heights" at the North Scott High School Fine Arts Auditorium -- June 29 through July 7.

Friday, June 28, through Sunday, July 7

North Scott High School Fine Arts Auditorium, 200 South First Street, Eldridge IA

A 13-time Tony Award nominee that received four trophies including Best Musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda's exhilarating stage musical In the Heights serves as the season-opener for Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, the show's June 28 through July 7 run sure to demonstrate why the New York Times raved that "the energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two."

Over the course of In the Heights, audiences get to encounter the vivid residents of Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood on the brink of change. Usnavi, a first generation corner-bodega owner, and his friends and family are dealing with the pressures of rising rents and closing neighborhood businesses. As one family struggles to figure out how to pay for an Ivy League tuition for their brilliant and hard-working daughter, a young woman is trying to put a down payment on a new apartment, and Usnavi himself is trying to get back to the Dominican Republic to reconnect with his roots after the death of his parents. In Washington Heights, community is everything, and we see how each of these individuals struggles to survive, and how these same individuals come together as a community to mourn their losses and rejoice in their triumphs. The hard-working residents of Washington Heights grapple with love and lust, identity and racism, all while the prospect of a winning lottery ticket hangs in the air, potentially changing the livelihoods of the people and the community forever. Combining Latin rhythms and dance with hip-hop lyrics in song such as "96,000," "Paciencia y Fe," and the exuberant title tune, In the Heights tells a captivating story about what it means to chase your dreams as you cling to your roots.

Directing In the Heights for Countryside is company newcomer Kris Doss, whose numerous theatrical credits over the years include performances in the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's productions of Cats, Wonderful Town, and Biloxi Blues. "This production is about community and about hope," said Doss. "I feel like we capture that well with every single person in this show approaching this process with passion and a glimmer in their eyes as they see what this production means to not only us, but the community, as well.”

Portraying In the Heights' heroic Usnavi is Jacob Johnson, who has enjoyed major roles in such Spotlight Theatre productions as Little Shop of Horrors, Peter & the Starcatcher, and Legally Blonde: The Musical, with the Washington Heights principals also boasting the gifted Mia Roldan (Vanessa), Abi Jensen (Nina), Keith Wright (Benny), Cindy Ramos (Abuela), and Micah Roldan (Sonny). Additional members of the In the Heights ensemble include Scott Rasso (Kevin), Harmoni Eiland (Camilla), Antonio Martinez (Piragua Guy), Rebekah Riewerts (Graffiti Pete), Violeta Jensen (Daniella), and Lillian Scodeller (Carla), the latter of whom also serves as the musical's dance captain.

More than a dozen local talents, meanwhile, compose the In the Heights ensemble: Antonio Casas, Maxwell Johnson, Emilene Leone, Amaya McNeal, Meecheeca McNeal, Lexi Pelzer, Rebekah Riewerts, John Rowe, Audrey Seneli, Cameron Shumpert, Heather Grace Simmons, Maddox Smith. Charlee Snider, and Charleigh Weatherspoon.

Countryside Community Theatre's In the Heights runs June 28 through July 7, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $18, and tickets can be reserved by visiting For more information on the production, visit

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