Thursday, September 12, 2013

In the Heights

Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting the Tony Award Winning Best Musical In The Heights on its mainstage to open its 205th Season. The show has had a myriad of awards including a Pulitzer, a Grammy, several Tony’s and several Drama Desk Awards. Once you have seen this performance you will understand why. The set is breathtaking.  Set Designer Anna Louizos also designed the set for the Broadway production.  You must pinch yourself to be sure you are not smack dab in the middle of a barrio.  Lighting Designer Paul Black and Costume Designed Colleen Grady add to the illusion.  Perry Young arrives straight off the National Tour of In the Heights to reprise his role of Usnavi.  With his unique blend of rap and hip hop he has the audience mesmerized from curtain to curtain. Raised by his Abuela, it is their joint dream for him to get out of the barrio and retire to the beach but then something happens to make him realize the importance of home.  Gizel Jimenez portrays Vanessa, his love interest.  The way she belts out a song can heard two blocks outside the theatre.   There are two dozen songs in this production- solos, duets, ensembles pieces, and every one on them is a winner. The dancing, too, is phenomenal.  Kudos to choreographer  Michelle Gaudette and the entire ensemble cast.  Not a moment goes by when the audience is not wholly engaged.   I have been to performances where the cast has had a standing ovation at the end of the show, but I don't think I have ever before seen every single audience member on their feet applauding at the end of the performance. This show's really reached great heights and you would be remiss if you didn’t make every effort to see it before the end of its run on October 20.  For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787 or visit online at

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