Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lights Up on Washington Heights

3:26 AM

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” is the kind of production that reminds the viewer that home is where the heart is. With their fast beats and smooth rhymes, the townspeople of Washington Heights remind us that we’re free to dream, even when our dreams are sometimes greater than ourselves.

Get to know the cast of Ateneo Blue Repertory’s “In the Heights” and catch the show as it runs from February 4-21, 2015!

A.M. Masucol as Sonny
Chuckie Campos Juan as Usnavi
Boo Gabunada as Benny
Celine Bengzon as Nina
If you won the $96,000 lottery ticket, what would you spend it on?
Chuckie: I've got very simple wants in life, to be honest. I'd probably spend it on red wine and                           surfing!
Celine: If I had $96,000, I would invest most of it and spend part of it on travel. I have a list of                          places to travel to and it'd be great to tick most of those off my list. Hehe!
Boo: I’d start a business! I wanna make my money, make more money!
A.M.: I'd probably save 3/4 of it for the future and use the rest to help out my parents and buy                       myself video games.

Are there any similarities between you and your character?
Chuckie: In some ways, yeah. I can see a little of myself in Usnavi. There's that recognition of                             the daily grind – the daily hardships we have to deal with in life. And working for a dream                   to just be on the beach! Mostly I can relate to the way he and his abuela have a closeness                     about them.
A.M.: I actually do see a lot of myself in Sonny like his ambitiousness and also his laziness. I                           have a lot of dreams for myself but there are times when I get too tired to actually do                           anything about them. Oh, and I guess you could say that I have the disposition of a 15                         year old boy.

Which song do you have the most fun rapping along to?
Chuckie: Definitely my pick-up line rap in The Club!
Celine: I enjoy rapping along to "In the Heights" the most. It turned out to be the first rap that I got                "LSS" to. I like to pretend that I'm Usnavi. Haha!
Boo: 96,000! And Finale, In The Heights, Benny’s Dispatch and Hundreds of Stories! Man, I                           just love all of the songs.
A.M.: Blackout's the best! The counterpoints, the harmonies, the raps are all great.


What was your favorite part of your “In The Heights” journey?
Chuckie: Getting to work with such a young, dynamic, and powerful ensemble has been quite a                         blessing from this whole experience.
Celine: My favorite part of my “In the Heights” journey was the night of our very first music                           rehearsal. I was so awed by the talent in the room; it was a reminder of why we all came                     together in this production.
Boo: I honestly don’t know. I’ve cherished every moment since this journey started. But I’m                       very excited for the shows! People will finally get to see what we’ve all worked so hard for.
A.M.: I guess it would be meeting all these amazing and talented people who I have privilege of                   working with.

Though the characters dream of leaving Washington Heights someday, they can’t deny it’s their true home. What is that “home” for you?
Chuckie: Home is where love finds itself to be in abundance.
Celine: Like Nina, home is where my family is. No matter how much I'd want to get away or no                          matter how busy I am, I always find myself going back to them. They're very close to my                     heart. As cheesy as it sounds, it just feels right when I'm with them.
Boo: For Benny, home is the love he found in Nina. For me, home is the love I’ve found on                         stage.
A.M.: Home's where you can be anything and do anything.


Shows run from February 4-7, 10-14, and 17-21 at the Rizal Mini Theatre, Ateneo de Manila University!

Contact Russ Santos at 09154741263 for ticket inquiries.


Article by Katrina
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Katrina Pimentel's biggest life goals include becoming a mermaid, and figuring out how many cupcakes she can eat without gaining weight. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @kkotrono.

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