Mundelein High shows its diversity by staging musical 'In the Heights'

Mundelein Theatre is bringing together its largest and most diverse ensemble ever to produce a musical presenting themes of family, home and representation.

In other words, the Mundelein High School's production of "In the Heights" will represent its own community like never before.

Opening Thursday, April 27, "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.

"Our goal in producing this show, in addition to creating a great experience for our students and our community, was to make sure that our Washington Heights looked like Mundelein," director Jonathan Meier said.

"Our community is a mix of cultures, ethnicities and races. We are a strong, vibrant, diverse community, and you will see this represented onstage during this production."

There also is a wide diversity of experience in this company. Two-thirds of the performers have never been in a musical at MHS.

"Watching this fantastic group of young theater artists come together to create our 'In the Heights' community has been a highlight of my educational career," Meier said.

"In the Heights" opened on Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four (Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations). It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 27-29, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29. All performances will be at Mundelein High School, 1350 W. Hawley St.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and $8 for students. Online sales stop two hours before each performance; walk-up sales begin 45 minutes before each performance for cash or checks only.

For more information and tickets, visit

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