Another weekend, another East Ramapo school district high school presenting “In the Heights.”
This weekend, it’s Spring Valley, following in the footsteps of crosstown counterpart Ramapo.
Manny Piedra, who plays Usnavi, says almost all of the Spring Valley cast was on hand to cheer Ramapo last weekend.
“We were the first ones to stand up at the end,” he said. “It was a lot of fun. Then everybody stood up.”
He talks at 10 a.m. the following morning.
A Sunday morning.
Sunday kicked off what’s called “Hell Week,” when shows iron out their problems on the way to opening night.
Spring Valley’s pit orchestra has a short learning curve: They played for Ramapo last weekend and need only adjust to the different cast three miles to the south.
Conductor and musical director Andres Perez says Spring Valley’s acoustics mean the band can play softer and not overpower the voices.
The process has been a great example of creative teams working together in a district that of late hasn’t had a lot of that. It’s rewarding to see kids working at common purposes.
And Piedra is a good kid, soft-spoken but confident.
Here’s my interview with Piedra and some of the kids at Ramapo.
Meanwhile, “In the Heights,” at Spring Valley High School, 7:30 p.m., April 4 and 5.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at Spring Valley. Enjoy! (By the way, when the company says “721, what?” they’re referring to their International Thespian Society troupe number.)