In The Heights Review

Hey, that guy Hammy Ham worked on this, so it's probably good

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In The Heights Review

Photo by Carissa Ackison

Photo by Carissa Ackison

Photo by Carissa Ackison

Carissa Ackison, Reporter

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The Pittsburgh Musical Theater recently presented In The Heights, and they did an absolutely spectacular job. I got the chance to go to their second showing and decided, almost immediately, that a review must be done. I have 8 pages of notes, so get ready.

The show “follows a handful of storylines, each illustrating what it means for the characters to chase opportunity in an attempt to improve their life circumstances, without losing a sense of the cultures they came from,” explained Director Erin Lindsey Krom. “Each of the storylines portrays the successes, setbacks, and surprises of pursuing one’s dreams.”

When I was heading to the show, I was worried that there would be little added dialogue and would follow the soundtrack very closely, similar to how Hamilton was done. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed Hamilton, but I had wished there was more. Luckily, In The Heights provides the extra umph that I was hoping for. The way they transitioned from song to dialogue and dialogue to song was done very well and smoothly. If we sang in regular conversations and daily life, I feel we would do it in the way this show does it.

Speaking of singing, the vocals and music were so good! The cast members all bring very strong voices that are able to blend well together but still stand out on their own; however, I did have a problem with hearing some actors over how loud the instrumental music was. Because of that, I, sadly, missed what was sung and said at times.

Now that my only complaint has been stated, let me move on to just how beautifully the cast was chosen. I almost always have some sort of problem with how the cast for a movie or play is chosen (seriously, ask my mom); however, I had absolutely no problem with this one. The actors were able to make this story believable. The looks and physical interactions exchanged between characters made it feel as though their relationships were true and genuine. It’s easy to connect with everyone on stage and empathize with how they feel, and I think the most important thing is that you begin to care about the characters and want the best for them. The cast of In The Heights has touched me in a way no other musical has.

Something else that made me really enjoy the show was the endless movement. Whoever was being focused was, of course, moving in some way, but so were the characters in the background. It was entertaining to see what everyone was doing in the background, but it was enough movement to not distract from what was supposed to be the focal point of the scene.

Oh hey, did I mention I cried? Multiple times … well, so did most of the audience members! There was so much sniffling and tears being shed that it felt like someone died. Oh, wait … whoops, that’s a spoiler. Moving on!

Overall, I would really recommend trying to go see this musical wherever you can find it because it’s honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve watched and continues to fill me with a warm feeling inside. 

P.S.

My favorite scene in the whole show: “I’m not jealous.” Proceeds to pants the guy he claimed to not be jealous of.

My favorite character was definitely the piragua guy. Forget Glen Coco; you go, piragua man!