In the Heights is an explosion of movement and colour which immediately engages and exhilarates. With music and lyrics by the massively hyped Lin-Manuel Miranda, this Tony Award winning hit is not to be missed.
Currently playing at the King’s Cross Theatre after a run at the Southwark Playhouse in 2014, the show shares the space with The Railway Children. I had previously seen The Railway Children in the space so I was excited to see it reinvented for In the Heights (mostly I wanted to see where the giant train had been hidden). In the Heights had been on my radar for a while but I just never got round to seeing it, so when my friends suggested that we all go, I jumped at the chance – I wish I hadn’t waited so long!
I was captivated from the first scene, with many storylines running through the plot, I was worried that I wasn’t going to keep up (with not knowing the plot beforehand); but this was not an issue. Every character was identifiable and fully developed which made following the plot incredibly easy. I was on the front row for the performance so I definitely felt in the action which made the experience even more thrilling. With the stage being dual sided, the show is played out to both sides, I think this set up is perfect for In the Heights as it really amplifies the inclusive feel of the show and boosts the energy of the performance.
Sam Mackay as protagonist Usnavi gave an alluring and confident performance, he carried the plot through with enviable ease and his rapping ability really was one of the highlights of the show. Gabriela Garcia gave a wonderful and endearing performance as the studious Nina, while the vocal talents of Christine Allado wowed the audience. Although the pinnacle of the show came from Philippa Stefani’s performance of salon owner Daniela – every time she entered the stage she completely stole the scene – she was an absolute joy to watch. With the show being a largely ensemble piece, the dancers really gave the performance a soul and vitality, the brightly coloured costumes enhanced the terrific choreography and made In the Heights a standout show.
See In the Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre while you can, this energetic and enthralling performance will leave you grinning from ear to ear with enthusiasm.