Thank you, Tony voters, for bringing “In the Heights” to my attention.
The first I really knew anything about it was when the cast performed the song “96,000” on the Tony broadcast this year, and it ended up winning the “Best Musical” award. So when Brandon Poole and I were talking with Sal about what show(s) to see during our weekend trip up here, “In the Heights” was one of the options… And fortunately, Sal recommended we see it.
GREAT show. Very entertaining… The music is infectious, the vocals stunning, the Latin flavor getting stuck in your head for hours afterward. The acting was terrific — you not only believed in the characters, but you found yourself genuinely feeling for them. The actors’ performances were so heartfelt and moving, I got chills and nearly teary-eyed a few times.
The one thing I’ll say that isn’t so overflowing with praise: I didn’t leave the show feeling like I had received a MESSAGE from it. It was a fantastic way to spend a few hours, and I will likely play the music obsessively for months, but it didn’t make me reflect on anything about myself or my life.
As an example… When I saw RENT for the first time, I came away feeling that it was important for me to embrace my life, to not waste a single opportunity to love or be loved. Wicked reminded me to be myself, to not judge people based on their appearance alone, and to not let anyone tell you who you’re allowed to care about. Avenue Q had a great message about finding your purpose, but not becoming so focused on tomorrow that you fail to see what’s in front of you today.
I’m sure I could give you more examples, but I think you hopefully have gotten my point. So many great plays and movies leave you thoughtful afterwards, and this one just… didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong — I don’t for a moment regret seeing it. I’d go see it again in a HEARTBEAT, because in those couple of hours, the audience is completely captivated. If you’re in New York and have the opportunity, definitely go see “In the Heights” without hesitation. Just don’t expect it to change your life.
And definitely see it sitting in between some of the people you love most in the world. That’s life-changing enough all by itself.