I have lots of musicals that I really would like to see live on a stage. Since I moved to London I’ve been very lucky to see some of them and last week I finally could see one that I was willing to see since I discovered it in 2008: it’s ‘In The Heights’. After waiting for such a long time, I must say that I wasn’t disappointed at all. I think it’s a modern show, with an inspiring and moving story and with an extraordinary music.
‘In The Heights’ is about a community of Dominic-American people in Washington Heights, in New York. The main character is Usnavi, who runs a coffee shop and meets everybody. He is in love with Vanessa, but he is not sure of being happy at work and living there. Also, Nina comes back from California. She was studying there for a year but she quit because she couldn’t pay it, so she had to work and she didn’t have time to study. Their parents want to sell their company to pay her career, but she doesn’t want to accept the money.
This musical was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. It’s a great show; I truly recommend it because it’s a message of hope, love and fight against failures. I felt Nina’s story so close to me that ‘Breathe’ is now one of my favourite songs. I used to listen to the soundtrack before and I love it, but watching the songs on stage, with the story, with all the nuances and interpretations from the actors it’s a completely experience.
The musical is at the King’s Cross Theatre, a very cool place that surprised me a lot. There are two different platforms and the stage it’s in the middle. You can see part of the audience in front of you while you watch the performance in the middle. I think it’s great because you feel the story and the actors and actresses closer to you; they are not in a separated stage, you are part of the action too, feeling all the passion and energy.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music is extraordinary. The songs are a combination of hip-hop, pop and latin rhythm. He is a great composer; he does always an amazing job. For a few weeks I’ve been listening the ‘Hamilton’ Cast Recording, his last musical on Broadway, and I loved it too. I feel like everything he does is just great. All his songs sound good to me, that’s personal, but what anyone can deny is that he introduces some fresh air in musical theatre, he tries new things and the music sounds new and with lot of energy.
‘In The Heights’ it’s a story about love, failure, spirit of improvement and community. The story is inspiring and very authentic, all the characters have something so wonderful and unique that I couldn’t chose which one is best. I felt very close to Nina because she is very self-demanding in some aspects of her life, but their parents are great too. The entire cast is really good. Especially the ladies who have a lot of difficult solos that are able to sing really well like Lily Frazer (Nina), Jade Ewen (Vanessa), Josie Benson (Camila), Victoria Hamilton-Barrit (Daniela) and Eve Polycarpou (Abuela). In the case of the guys, they mostly sing hip-hop, which also requires a great ability and they succeed, like Sam Hackay (Usnavi), Cleve September (Sonny), Joe Aaron Reid (Benny) and David Bedella (Kevin).
The show is really good to see. The stage in the middle of the audience creates a completely unique experience. You feel really close to the story and the action, some of the actors and actresses come very close to the people. Also, the choreographies are spectacular. There are lots of solos but there are lots of songs performed by the whole cast and the way they dance it’s really beautiful to see, everything is with lot of energy and passion. The choreographies combine break dance with latin dance, also with some great effects like the ‘Blackout’ scene. It’s a fantastic theatrical experience, I was truly impressed and I enjoyed the show so much.
‘In The Heights’ it’s a beautiful musical, with lot of contagious energy and passion. The songs are great, catchy, moving and unique. It’s a modern story with a universal message. In a very intimate theatre, enjoying the show it’s easy, with lots of female solos with breathtaking voices. The musical will be at the King’s Cross Theatre only until January, so don’t miss the chance to watch a Tony Award winner from Broadway.