Before he wrote the smash hit “Hamilton,” composer, lyricist, and star Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote another musical which won four Tony awards and was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. That show, “In the Heights,” is the next indoor production being presented by The Theatre in the Park at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center.
“In the Heights” will begin Oct. 5 and run through Oct. 21 in The Black Box Theatre at JCAHC. In addition, a related art installation titled “Respira. Just Breathe.” will be available for viewing during regular hours through November at JCAHC.
“I’m looking forward to our patrons experiencing the personal and inspiring style of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” said Fine and Performing Arts Manager Tim Bair. “The story is so wonderful, and real. It really is a slice of life story relating to a specific place in New York City.”
“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 Rated PG, and will be presented 10 times. Each show will last about two hours with a 20-minute intermission. Evening performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. are planned for Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20. Afternoon performances at 2 p.m. are planned for Oct. 7, 14, 20 and 21. Interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing will be present for the evening performance on Oct. 20.
With the exception of afternoon shows, tickets are $14.50 for children ages 10 and under, $14.85 for seniors 60 and older, and $16.50 for adults 11 to 59. Admission costs for afternoon shows are $11.60 for ages 10 and under, $11.88 for seniors 60 and older, and $13.20 for adults 11 and older.
Tickets are available anytime online at www.theatreinthepark.org/purchase-arts-and-heritage-center-tickets, or can be purchased at JCAHC during regular hours.
The Black Box Theatre provides The Theatre in the Park with a year-round venue to supplement its outdoor summer productions during June, July, and August in Shawnee Mission Park. JCAHC is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.
In conjunction with the production of “In the Heights,” the exhibition “Respira. Just Breathe.” highlights immigration as present in the city streets of New York. Through innovative collaboration of street-art and multi-ethnic perspective, visitors will see, hear, and feel what it means to finally exhale. This exhibition is supported by a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
“After sending out a public call for entry, the artists we chose are a group from the Johnson County Developmental Supports Emerging Artists program,” explained Fine Arts Coordinator Devin Graham. “JT Daniels, Arts Specialist for Emerging Artists, designed and has the led the group for the on-site installation. As an on-site installation, the exhibition is considered one whole piece, although there will be approximately ten canvas paintings available for sale to the public. All proceeds go directly to the artists.”
Just like “In the Heights” is a story of home, family, and finding where you belong, the art exhibit aims to be something that echoes to everyone who can identify as different.
“We acknowledge these differences in celebration,” Graham said. “Diversity is precisely what makes our world so rich, as individuals and groups of all ethnicities, ages, orientations, and capabilities bring forth innovative ideas as an agent of change.”
“Respira. Just Breath.” will be installed by Oct. 5, and will come down starting Nov. 11. This exhibition is free to visit in JCAHC’s Creative Commons area, and will be available during the center’s regular hours. JCAHC is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays.
Up next for The Theatre in the Park at JCAHC is a return engagement of Harry Connick Jr’s “The Happy Elf,” which is Rated G, on Dec. 7 through 23; and a Winter Theatre Academy production of “Zombie Prom,” Rated PG, on Dec. 28 and 29. In addition, the second annual Stars Gala New Year’s event will take place beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 at JCAHC.