My all time favorite musical.
I always enjoy watching the Tony’s and this year was no different. I love to see what new musical’s Broadway has to offer (especially since I’m stuck here on the west coast) It’s how I was introduced to Wicked, Avenue Q, Putnam County’s 25th Annual Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, and a few others. So with great anticipation earlier this year I sat down to watch this years crop of ‘Best Musical’ nominees.
I wasn’t liking what I was seeing. A couple were ok in that if they came to the L.A. and were discounted I could possibly go. But I soon lost interest and turned on my computer. With my back to the T.V. I could here everything that was going on. Then I heard it. A young man’s voice said “Lights up on Washington Heights up at the break of day.” It caught my ear because he wasn’t sining it, he was rapping it. Not only that but it had a hip hop beat behind it. Then to top it off he said some lyrics in spanish. Before I knew it I was hooked on the T.V. and texting my best friend: are you watching this?
Fast forward a few months and I’m boarding a plane, with two of my closest friends, bound for New York. Needless to say we also had 3 tickets for a performance of In The Heights.
In The Heights tells the story of family and friends in a barrio of New York called Washington Heights. It takes place over a couple of days and follows the main character Usnavi as he tries to win the heart of the girl he loves and make ends meet in this poor neighborhood.
We are introduced to the other characters in the play right at the beggining. Each one having thier own well rounded story to tell. There’s Benny who wants to own his own business. Vanessa who wants to get out of town. Nina who feels like a failure after she comes back home after a failed stint at Stanford. Who parents who will do anything for their daughter. The ladies from the salon, Daniel and Carla, who like talk about everyone else. Usnavi’s cousin Sonny who wants to make the Barrio a better place to live (and is the comic relief in the show). And finally Abuela Claudia who is the matriarch of the block and who is someone everyone looks up too.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this musical. Every aspect of it. The music especially. It was definately geared towards the younger generation with it’s hip hop hooks and rapping. Throw in some latin beats and it’s like nothing you have seen on Broadway. It also has it’s traditional musical numbers that are all greatly executed. The dancing is also both traditional and hip hop driven. Giving the younger crowd something else to look forward too.
The story itself is also well written. The characters are well developed and I found myself really getting invloved in the story line. Especially in the character Abuela Claudia. She reminded me of my own Abuela. Although I found myself related a little bit in all the characters.
We liked the show so much we ended up buying tickets for another night while we were in New York. I honestly can’t wait to go back and see it again. I also hope it goes on tour soon so I get to see it a few more times.
If your in New York I highly recommend seeing In The Heights.