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Upper Upper West Side Story

New York's Jeremy McCarter loved In the Heights, a new musical at 37 Arts, and he's not the only one. At an all-high-school matinee organized by the Theater Development Fund yesterday, a packed house of almost entirely black and Latino teens from Washington Heights screamed and stomped wildly through the show, which weaves hip-hop, salsa, and old-fashioned storytelling into a nouveau–West Side Story tale of love, loss, dreams, and change in the gentrifying-but-still- mostly-Dominican Heights. The kids went crazy from the first (rapped) mention of the D.R., and they stayed entranced through the electrifying dance sequence at the end of Act One to the hysteria-inducing moment when hunky heartthrob Christopher Jackson (who plays limo dispatcher Benny) sauntered onstage for a raucous audience Q&A after the show. It was quite a scene to take in, like being in the audience for the very first B'nai Brith night at Fiddler. After the talkback, we asked six audience members — all Heights residents, all seniors at the neighborhood's International High School of Business and Finance — how the show stacked up against their hood.

Dominicans Like the Island Manhattan, Smoke on Your Pipe and Put That In

There may be a minor revolution under way in our city's Latin American population, according to new census data reported in the News. For the first time ever, the Dominican Republic is poised to overtake Puerto Rico as the No. 1 provenance of New York Latinos. (Overall, Latinos account for 28 percent of the NYC population and are the dominant ethnicity in the Bronx). The new figures show the number of "Nuyoricans" dropping from 2004 to 2005, while the Dominican stats are on the rise. An auxiliary article describes the first front already ceded by the Puerto Ricans — the city's 13,000 Hispanic bodegas, which are now almost entirely Dominican-owned. Whither Puerto Ricans? It seems they're following the arc of any other immigrant group that's stayed in the city for a while: disappearing into the middle class and moving out, be it to the Long Island suburbs, upstate, New Jersey, or back to Puerto Rico. At least, though, this revolution appears to be a peaceful one, with no hard feelings between the two Latino groups. For instance, when Puerto Rican candidate Fernando Ferrer ran for mayor, he drew more support from the city's Dominicans than from his compatriots. Of course, he still lost. Latinos on the Rise in the City [NYDN] Dominican Dominance at Bustlin' Bodegas [NYDN]