Thursday, February 11, 2010

Playhouse Square: In the Heights

Based on my most recent experiences with Playhouse Square (the borderline-tolerable Wicked and the utterly abysmal, I-still-feel-like-I-was-ripped-off-and-will-gladly-tell-everyone-I-know Chicago) I entered tonight's performance of In the Heights--after much initial inner debate about even attending--with bated breath...and a vodka and coke to be safe.

While the performance wasn't was reasonably entertaining. I had the irresistible urge to tap my toes through much of the show though I was largely--yet not entirely--able to keep the head-bobbing in check.

Technically, I noticed at least two missed/late mic cues early in Act 1 for Nina (Arielle Jacobs), which were reasonably well-covered by sheer vocal power. A large part of my complaints for both Wicked and Chicago were out of control orchestras. While the intelligibility of the vocals, especially during the opening In The Heights could have been helped if the band were a touch quieter or the vocals a touch louder, it was well within the limits of tolerably.

The set was one of the most visually intriguing I've seen recently; roughly on par with that of Spring Awakening but far easier to figure out on first glance.

The bilingual curtain announcement was both amusing and a sign of things to come -- I'm sure appreciation for the show is increased for those who speak Spanish, but I don't feel like I missed much. Story wise, it's a show about a microcosm that is a New York City neighborhood and the relationships of the people in it. I didn't leave with any major revelations, nor did I feel like a better or worse person at the end, but I was entertained. I'll take that.

I'm still trying to figure out if I can buy a Jump Back Ball ticket in good conscience.


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