In the Heights opened Tuesday at The Bushnell. Opening night was packed with a refreshingly diverse audience, the majority of whom loved the show.
The play was written here in CT by Lin-Manual Miranda while he was a student at Wesleylan University. It worked its way to Broadway, opening in 2008 at The Richard Rogers Theater. In the Heights has received 13 Tony nominations and won 4 awards, including best musical, original score, choreography and orchestration.
The story follows three days in the life of a Dominican-American neighborhood in Washington Heights, New York City. The show features a hot young cast who sing, rap and dance their way through the emotional saga which unfolds; the characters' struggle to fulfill their life ambitions while coming to terms with their place in el barrio. It's not the most unique story, but the characters are charming and the music is engaging. The soundtrack, as well as the dancing, is a blend of hip-hop, salsa, merengue and reggaeton.
This was definitely one of the hipper events I've been to at the Bushnell, the best part being the hot chick selling programs in the aisles of Mortenson Hall. It was obvious that the play's Spanglish dialogue was appreciated, considering Hartford has a large Spanish-speaking poplulation who are not generally the target of the Bushnell's programming. Oh, and their merch is totally hot. You may just want to hang out in the lobby and buy t-shirts.
In the Heights is at the Bushnell through 1/10/09. Tix are $15-$72.