Emily White ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
There are few better ways to celebrate the summer than with SpeakEasy Stage’s sexy and fun production of In the Heights in the Roberts Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. The talented ensemble not only captures the spirit of the “barrio”, or neighborhood, of Washington Heights, but also the spirit of summer itself. This is a show that makes audiences want to get up and dance along with the cast.
The Tony award-winning score is innovative and exciting, with rap, salsa, hip hop, and a mix of languages comprising the score, creating very challenging but also extremely successful music. Anybody can enjoy the upbeat and spicy music without knowing much about musical theatre; In fact, this is one of the best musicals to see to introduce someone to the genre, and the energetic ensemble, which includes one current Emerson student, backs the beats with daring dance moves, often inspiring cheers from the audience. It also touches on darker, more intimate themes such as poverty, strife, immigration, and death, which the cast also handles with grace.
Diego Klock-Perez shines as Usnavi, the protagonist, a role originally played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator. With big shoes to fill, Klock-Perez more than stepped up to the plate, infusing the character with his own flair. Other standouts in an all-around amazing cast included Merissa Haddad as the feisty salon owner, Daniela. The production design coupled with the well-connected ensemble really made the audience feel like a part of the community of “the Heights.” It is the themes of family and hope that ultimately are left within the audience members as they leave the theatre – as well as an urge to dance!
In the Heights is in its final week of performances, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to see it yet, don’t miss out!
In The heights is being performed at the Roberts Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts and has been extended through June 30, with performances Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, and Sunday at 4 PM.