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Tri-Valley Rep reaches new 'Heights' at Bankhead Theater production

Lin-Manuel Miranda musical tells story of NYC community

Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre opens Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" this weekend -- a universal story taking place during three days in New York's vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood, where windows are always open and the rhythm of three generations of music can be heard.

"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," according to the Rogers & Hammerstein Theatrical Library, which licenses the show.

The cast includes Alexander Gomez playing Usnavi, the owner of a corner bodega who is the narrator; Anita Colotto as "Abuela" Claudia, a Cuban who is now the loving matriarch of the barrio; Cheyenne Wells as Nina, the first in her family to go to college, who is admired for "making it out"; Marcel Saunders as Benny, the only character in the play who is not Hispanic, and who falls in love with Nina; and Vida Fernandez as Vanessa, Usnavi's beautiful love interest.

The Tri-Valley Rep production is produced by Kathleen Breedveld, directed/choreographed by Christina Lazo, with musical direction by Sierra Dee, and assistant directed/choreographed by Misty Megia.

"In the Heights" won 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations, and it is set to become a feature film. It is rated PG-13. Performances will run from tomorrow to Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays, with an additional Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 5.

Miranda's "Hamilton" won 11 Tony Awards this year. He is currently in London working on a remake of "Mary Poppins" with Emily Blunt.

This is the 33rd season for the nonprofit Tri-Valley Rep, formerly Pleasanton Playhouse, which is headquartered on Serpentine Lane in Pleasanton. For more information, visit www.trivalleyrep.org.

Tony-winning musical

What: "In the Heights"

Who: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5; 2 p.m. Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 5, Nov. 6

Where: Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore

Tickets: $19-$39; call 373-6800, visit www.trivalleyrep.org, or go to theater box office.

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Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form