In the Heights (review)

In the Heights (review)
In the Heights (review)
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THE PLAY:  A hip-hop influenced musical about life and dreams among the inhabitants of an Hispanic immigrant neighborhood in New York’s Washington Heights.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Instead of a traditional narrative, this play celebrates several character situations in an explosion of color and life. As with author Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit “Hamilton,” this show is full of his dense, rich language. So much information is flying by, it’s a challenge to keep up…and that’s this production’s only flaw…the lyrics are often lost in the mix with Ben Miller’s excellent orchestra. Otherwise, this is a slick production with a slammin’ ensemble: robust performances (anchored by JJ Caruncho’s likeable presence), solid voices and Karla Garcia’s spirited choreography. The show is saturated with an electric vitality that’s a credit to Nathaniel Shaw’s taut direction. The dominating street set (which has been scaled down from the original Broadway design) limits the acting to the front area of the stage. Sarah Grady’s costumes and Joe Doran’s lighting effectively echo the play’s colorful esthetic. Running time: 2:20

 

THE POINT: A vibrant, vivid ensemble brings Latino flavor and theatrical fervor to this spirited, superb staging.

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

A Virginia Rep production at the November Theatre thru 7/30

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

Shea Gomez, Josh Marin, Arielle Jacobs, JJ Caruncho, and ensemble. Photo by Aaron Sutten.

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