In The Heights

In The Heights
Aurora Theatre
through August 28, 2016

You may have heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose play, Hamilton, walked off with most of the Tonys this year. He also created In The Heights which also won several awards, and this production is a tribute to the story he tells, as well as the story of the company involved in this production.

Washington Heights is a neighborhood in Manhattan which, like many we know of, has gone evolved through ethnic changes. It’s may be kind of like a West Side Story, except it is not about street gangs. Maybe a little like Calle Ocho de Miami, where we have a carnaval del barrio each March.

This is a co-production with the Theatrical Outfit, and it will play intown later this year. It makes so much sense to have two good companies join together to share the costs of a great set by Shannon Robert, and also allow the cast of 27 players to hit the boards again. Sort of a localized touring production. And, maybe one day soon we’ll have a group like this getting booked into other cities in nearby states.

Ann-Carol Pence is the music director and on the keyboard with eight more players, just off-stage. There is a LOT of incredible choreography designed by Ricardo Aponte, and the prodution is directed by Justin Anderson. It is an ultra-high energy show, that makes you feel exhausted even though they are doing all the work.

While there are 24 numbers in the show, it isn’t like Cats where you leave the theatre humming the tunes. It’s more like being at an opera with no super-titles, albeit most of the lyrics are en Inglis. This is a treat for the eyes, the ears, and the soul; for the real story line is not about a student who takes a lapse year from Stanford, or a father who would sell his business to help get her back through college, nor about a chica who gets involved with a really nice hombre negro.

It is about you and all of us, and how we all reap the benefits when we accept one another and join forces to make meaningful lives and communities. It’s a show that many politicians should be forced to attend.

Every member of the cast is just spot-on. You will love it. It is playing to sold out houses, so visit their website for more info and tickets.