PMT Staging Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights’; Tamburitzan’s Bring ‘Prism: Full Spectrum Culture’ to Palace (Sun., 1/27/19)

1) Pittsburgh Musical Theater, known for youth programs and family-friendly musicals, has branched into more adventurous fare with its West End Series. PMT’s latest is In the Heights, the 2008 Tony Award winner for Best Musical and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first hit. This ensemble piece follows the adventures of young strivers in New York’s Washington Heights, a center for immigrants from the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-speaking countries. As in many immigrant neighborhoods, what a lot of folks strive for is to move on and up in the world—but the path isn’t always clear, and, as the show depicts, there’s plenty of drama right at home. Miranda (who’s not from the Heights but grew up in the New York metro area) wrote the first iteration of In the Heights while a student at Wesleyan University. After a student production scored well, he kept developing it. The Broadway version has major contributions from Quiara Alegria Hudes—credited as the book writer, and later a Pulitzer-winning playwright for Water by the Spoonful—and from New York director Thomas Kail. In PMT’s Gargaro Theater. 2 p.m. Performances continue through February 3. 327 S. Main St., West End. (MV)

2) The Tamburitzans are Pittsburgh’s signature performers of ethnic folk music and dance, specializing in forms that are traditional in Central and Eastern Europe. The group began in the 1930s—1937 is considered the official founding date—and they have toured internationally. For many years The Tamburitzans were affiliated with Duquesne University, where promising young folk artists would apply to study and become part of the ensemble. Independent since 2014, The Tamburitzans now recruit widely, billing themselves as “the longest running live stage show in the United States.” They visit The Palace Theatre to perform a program titled Prism: Full Spectrum Culture, consisting of music and dance from many lands. 2 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (MV)