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In The Heights Portland Tour Review

October 20, 2010 No comments
Lexi Lawson and Joseph Morales In The Heights

Lexi Lawson and Joseph Morales in In The Heights

The original off-Broadway (and eventually Broadway) production of In The Heights is a much better show than what I saw at the Keller during opening night. If there was ever a show that clearly demonstrated the acoustic limitations and the issues of bringing a show on the road it was In The Heights. Set in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York, In The Heights takes a very conventional musical structure and infuses it with an eclectic mix of latin music, culture and dance. The core of the story is a Dominican named Usnavi, raised by a surrogate grandmother in the neighborhood, who struggles to run a small, often broken-down convenience store.  Usnavi is surrounded by an cast of characters all dealing with the gentrification of the neighborhood and the struggle between planting roots or sprouting wings and finding a better life somewhere else.  Thematically and musically there are a lot of notes lifted from Rent, with characters at the apex of dealing with their identity. This is no accident as many of the producers also worked on Rent. Read more…