Laurel, make way, make way. It’s time you knew that about 100 Laurel High School students are set to act, sing, dance, perform and shoulder the behind-the-scenes work to produce an early play by one of today’s most beloved musical masterminds.

In the Heights,” a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will be staged the first two weekends in February by Laurel High’s performing arts department. Miranda is the creator of the Broadway hit “Hamilton” and composer of Disney’s “Moana.”


“The kids have been so excited about this production because it’s so relatable and the experiences are very realistic,” said performing arts chair Jaclyn Martin.

The musical is set in Washington Heights, a predominately Hispanic neighborhood in New York City, and follows the lives of several of its residents over the course of three days. It won four Tony awards in 2008.

Laurel High students first became Miranda fans in March 2016, when a group of them were guests at the White House for a performance by the “Hamilton” cast hosted by then first lady Michelle Obama.

Students and faculty were quickly “hooked” on Miranda’s work, said the musical’s director, Frank Hammond.

The cast alone is nearly 40 students strong and has been working since September to perfect the piece before its four February performances. Dozens of additional students are responsible for the sets, costumes, and live orchestra.

Laurel High typically produces a musical every other year and this is the fourth production on which Hammond and Martin have collaborated. Previous performances included “Shrek” and “Willy Wonka.”

“We probably had our best response [from students] to this one because it’s very contemporary,” Hammond said.

“In the Heights” performances are open to the public but do contain some mature content and language, Martin said.

The musical will be held at Laurel High’s auditorium, 8000 Cherry Lane. Performances are scheduled Friday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6 thru 12. Kids 5 and under are free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://laurelhighschoolpad.weebly.com.

Wreaths Across America’s inaugural year in Laurel comes to a close this weekend as volunteers gather to collect wreaths from Ivy Hill Cemetery now that the holiday season has ended.

Volunteers are needed Saturday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. at the cemetery along Old Sandy Spring Road to clean up the approximately 300 wreaths that were placed last month in honor of service members buried there.

Site coordinator Lisa Wright said she has received a lot of positive feedback from the community about Wreaths Across America. Even though there was a hiccup at the Dec. 16 ceremony – the actual wreaths weren’t delivered in time – dozens gathered to honor those who’ve served in the Armed Forces and many returned the following week to lay the wreaths.

American Legion Post 60 will host a job fair on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Allen Hall, 2 Main St. Professional business attire is recommended and attendees should bring plenty of copies of their resumes. For more information, call 301-725-2302.