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In The Heights

Published 14 October 2015

What’s it all about?

This Tony Award-winning tuner with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda is a ‘slice of life’ tale whisking us into Washington Heights, the Manhattan barrio with a distinctly Latin feel where local prodigy Nina has returned from her first year at Stanford with a secret, beautician Daniela is preparing to move shops for a cheaper location, aspirational Vanessa can’t wait to leave and bodega owner Usnavi dreams of a new life in the Domincan Republic.

Who’s in it?

Sam Mackay radiates the heart and soul of a vibrant, inter-reliant community, rapping with the precision of a joyful – and far more huggable – Eminem.

New star Lily Frazer perfectly captures the tension of a young over-performer bowing under the pressure of expectation, while Victoria Hamilton-Barritt is a gloriously sassy queen of the gossips as Daniela.

What should I look out for?

This is undoubtedly a phrase your will hear more and more in the coming years: Drew McOnie’s choreography is phenomenal. The choreographer, who will bring a dance version of Jekyll And Hyde to The Old Vic next year, deftly blends Latin, street, modern and stage dance to create a vibrant melting pot world.

What will I be humming tomorrow?

Nina’s music box lament Breathe will haunt you, but it’s 96,000 – which I don’t want to say too much about for fear of releasing spoilers – that has me swaying my hips inappropriately around the office today.

In a nutshell?

Sexy, sultry, hip and hot, In The Heights brings irresistible Latin sizzle to an otherwise drizzly London autumn.

What’s being said on Twitter?

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Will I like it?

Like a cooling piragua on a scorching hot day, In The Heights is pretty irresistible. While its story might not take you through the emotional highs and lows of other musicals, its heart, verve and energy could well be the thing to brighten a cold winter’s evening. The cast radiates an irrepressible, infectious energy which, as my companion commented last night, paraphrasing a classic piece of theatre criticism, is like pure theatrical Berocca.

In The Heights plays at the Kings Cross Theatre until 3 January. You can book tickets through us here.

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