You can’t spend more than twenty minutes on the internet without seeing the name Lin-Manuel Miranda. My relationship with him started with watching the gender bend and miscast Broadway Musical videos my sister had shown me. One of those videos was three young boys singing “The Schuyler Sisters”, a song taken from Hamilton. If you haven’t been on the internet for the past year, Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. An obsession grew and like the rest of the planet I was hungry for more Miranda. Thankfully, the King’s Cross Theatre has given us a gift: In the Heights, Miranda’s first musical. It may have only won 4 Tony Awards to Hamilton’s 11 but my ridiculously high expectations were met!
So basically, In the Heights is one massive street party and we’re all invited. With music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, we get a glimpse into Washington Heights! We join them at an eventual time in their lives. In three days, there’s lottery winners and a black out as well as all the romance, drama and tragedy that we want to choreographed on stage. I was expecting catchy songs and quick witted rap but it was the dancing that was a pleasant surprise! I applaud you Drew McOnie. A great musical should be a treat for the ears as well as the eyes. Bright costumes, stage and characters make for an unforgettable experience.
Speaking of characters, the lovely Usnavi was played by Sam Mackay. In the Broadway production, Usnavi was played by Miranda for nearly four years on and off. It’s a similar story with Mackay. The UK premiere of In The Heights was staged at Southwark Playhouse in 2014 before it was transferred to the King’s Cross Theatre October 2015. Two more years Mackay. Everyone on that stage is so optimistic, not just for the lottery, for a bright future. Without sounding sappy, but happiness to friends, family and a home. It might be a graffiti filled street in the state of New York, but with a little love and heart, it’s a place worth staying.