Community, Edge, Theater

‘In The Heights’ brings Latin spice to Gables

It’s easy to see why “In The Heights” would attract crowds in Miami; the Latin population can easily relate to the music, the humor and the plot.

Luckily for those who aren’t familiar with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes’ story, Actors’ Playhouse is bringing a bit of Latin flavor to the Miracle Theatre through April 7 with its production of “In The Heights.”

Set in Washington Heights  during early July, the musical tells the story of a group of family and friends who live in a predominantly Latin neighborhood. The plot tends to revolve around Usnavi (Nick Duckart), a convenience store owner, who tells the audience about his struggles with love, business and life through rap.

While Usnavi tries to get the courage to ask Vanessa (Christie Padres) out, salon owner Daniela (Elise Santora) gets ready to move her business to the Bronx.

In the meantime, Nina (Sarah Amengual) – the neighborhood’s pride and joy – comes back from her first year at Stanford University with a big secret she’s keeping from her parents, Kevin (Oscar Cheda) and Camila (Denise Sanchez).

Such a complex plot driven by several story lines requires a talented cast, and that’s just what the Actors’ Playhouse is giving their audiences. What makes the production stand out are the characters – and the cast – who you find yourself rooting for throughout the musical. The actors are incredibly talented; not only can they sing and act, but they can also dance.

Choreographer Stephanie Klemons does a marvelous job of utilizing every inch of the stage. Combined with the musical’s catchy and upbeat Latin songs – performed live by eight musicians directed by Manny Schvartzman – the choreography brings this production of “In The Heights” to another level.

The ensemble of dancers is extraordinary, particularly Jose-Luis Lopez, who was also in the musical on Broadway.

Moreover, the cast effortlessly portrays the charming characters. Standout performances include Doreen Montalvo’s Abuela Claudia and Cheda’s portrayal of Nina’s father, Kevin.

Both performers flawlessly depict the typical Latin grandmother and father. The duo shines during numbers like “Inútil” – a powerful performance from Cheda – and Montalvo’s “Paciencia y Fé (Patience and Faith).”

The understated set design is incredible as well; it manages to set the right tone and ambiance for the audience without excessively trying to recreate the actual setting of Washington Heights.

Every audience member will develop a personal connection to the production and its characters.

Between the cast’s impressive performances and the catchy music, there is no way anyone will leave the theater disappointed after watching Actors’ Playhouse’s “In The Heights.”

 

If You Go

What: “In The Heights”

Where: Actors’ Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 7

Ticket prices are $28 to $44

For more information, call 305-444-9293

March 27, 2013

Reporters

Nicky Diaz

Copy Chief


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.