The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia has recently opened the Tony Award winning musical, IN THE HEIGHTS. The show takes place over three days and is mostly comprised of people who live in the Dominican-American neighborhood. The ensemble cast of characters live in Washington Heights, New York. Music and lyrics are beautifully crafted by Lin Manuel Miranda who originated the lead role, Usnavi.
Having seen the show three times, I knew what to expect; incredible songs, fun dancing and an all around entertaining show. However, I was a bit underwhealmed and surprised by the cast of characters that I favored in this production. Thankfully there were a handful of cast members that stood out and carried the show. Abuela Claudia played by Rayanne Gonzales and Nina played by Julia Hunter both had strong voices that captured the audience. Another wonderful surprise was Kevin played by Danny Bolero. His stern but loving demeanor was just right for Nina’s father. The uber adorable, comedic relief, Piragua Guy played by Carlos Lopez was delightful to watch maneuver around the stage while selling his food.
The dancing in the show choreographed by Michelle Gaudette was entertaining and helped heighten the over all production. It would have been nice to be more intrigued by the lead characters. The music and lyrics are so good, you can’t help but enjoy yourself and although I was somewhat dissatisfied with the casting choices, the audience was highly entertained. For more information take a look at the Walnut Street Theatre website: http://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/season/in-heights.php