The Olivier Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In The Heights celebrated its first London birthday with a spectacular media night on Friday.
One year on from its arrival at the King’s Cross Theatre, where the show plays in repertory with the similarly Olivier Award-winning family drama The Railway Children, the show’s scorching songs, athletic and imaginative choreography and, most saliently of all, irrepressible energy, once again radiated from the stage, sending audience members springing to their feet in delight at the curtain call.
The performance represented a celebration of a remarkable year for the uplifting, toe-tapping show, which received four nominations at the Olivier Awards 2016 with MasterCard, winning three: the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, the award for Best Theatre Choreographer (Drew McOnie) and the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (David Bedella).
At the conclusion of the performance, producer Paul Taylor-Mills said: “What’s hilarious about this show is that two and a half years ago, everyone told us not to do it, we’d never cast it, nobody would ever come, but here we are celebrating our first birthday.
“If you take anything away from tonight, it’s to trust your instincts, and if you really believe in something, just go and make it happen.”
Amongst the superb achievements celebrated on the night was the conclusion of Jocasta Almgill’s long run in the cast, of which Paul commented, “When she leaves this building there’s going to be such a void – she’s played every single part in this show! She’s a producer’s dream.”
Transporting audiences to the vibrant setting of Washington Heights, a vivacious Manhattan district with a passionate community which compensates for its penniless streets, the London revival of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s crowd-pleasing tale explores grand aspirations of a life elsewhere, and the ultimate importance of home, through a heartening and catchy score and infectious street, Latin and modern dance choreography.
Following its 2015 press night, Official London Theatre said of the show: “Like a cooling piragua on a scorching hot day, In The Heights is pretty irresistible.”
For a taste of the production, you can enjoy the cast’s West End LIVE 2016 performance here:
With just three months to go until the production boards the train out the El Barrio on the 8 January 2017, audiences should salsa their way to the King’s Cross Theatre to catch this sizzling smash-hit.
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