In The Heights
(Image Credit: Southwark Playhouse)
Southwark Playhouse hosted the 2008 Tony Award Winning Broadway Musical during May and June 2014. This vibrant and highly energetic musical, written by Quiara Alegria Hudes, tells us about a Hispanic community in New York's Washington Heights. Included are the inhabitants of the tight knit community who face changes, pressures and expectations amongst their possessions of hopes, dreams and beliefs.
The infused musical score, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, features hip hip and Latino rhythms which injects everyday life of its inhabitants who are busy making a living, pursuing their dreams and finding their place in the Neighbourhood and the World. Miranda's lyrics matched the music's tempo.
Usnavi (played by Sam Mackay) who is the unofficial narrator introduced In The Heights and his bodega. The characters then simultaneously shared their lives and dreams. Benny (played by Wayne Robinson) talks about Benny's Dispatch at Kevin's and Camilla's (David Bedella and Josie Benson) Taxi Business. Nina's (played by Christina Modestou) dilemma concerning her college eduction was expressed in Breathe and Vanessa's (Emma Kingston) dreams of having a West Village apartment and believes It Won't Be Long Now.
In The Heights explores the neighbourhood's diverse Hispanic community from its inhabitants coming from central and South American countries such as Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and so forth. Many share similar dreams such as bettering themselves in the United States and giving their family the best start as possible in life. All would get together with a collective dream with the hope of a sold winning ticket in the neighbourhood and their 96,000 revealed how they would spend for their plans. This community cohesion, however, was tested with its fustrations and tensions resulting from unexpected action with No Me Diga, Inutil, Blackout in the first Act and Enough in Act Two.
Family life is considered important in Washington Heights and everywhere else. Abuela Claudia (Eva Polycarpou) who raised Usnavi as her own child was keen to help him and her return to Usnavi's homeland, Dominican Republic. This with the aid of her lottery winnings and Usavi's reflective Hundreds of Stories. In The Heights featured a variety of characters' thoughts and their life changing plans. Unforeseen circumstances and change of minds can have an affect on the individuals and the community as a whole. Told and sung were Carnaval Del Barrio, the tragic Atencion, the eulogy of Alabanza, the celebratory Champagne and Everything I Know. In conclusion one's home is identified in Finale.
In The Heights colourfully tells about a community whose identities and one selves are being discovered and evolved through their lives with regards to their dreams and aspirations with regards to challenges and triumphs. The story is told with incredible musical and dancing, originally choreographed by Drew McOnie; directed by Luke Sheppard and musically supervised by Tom Deering, all part of a talented created team.
An excellent cast of Nathan Amzi, David Badella, Josie Benson, Courtney-Mae Briggs, Damian Buhagiar, Victoria Hamilton-Barrit, Emma Kingston, Johny Labey, Sam Mackay, Christina Modestou, Sarah Naudi, Eva Polycarpou and Wayne Robinson. Themes raised In The Heights are parallel to typical neighbourhoods and communities worldwide. In The Heights is a highly charged show with moving, poignant and feel good flavours which is intimately well done in Southwark Playhouse's space.
In The Heights is now closed at Southwark Playhouse but please sign up for the musical's future developments.