In The Heights Brings Harmony and Latin Spice to the .Zack

I went into the .Zack with an open mind, not sure what to expect. I never heard of the venue before and hadn’t really heard much about this In The Heights, which is being produced at the venue by R-S Theatrics. The .Zack surpassed my expectations. It’s very modern and open. The theater features all black seats in a triangular design covering all sides of the stage. A bar is located right above the theater and they work in conjunction with one another. As the doors opened and we filed in, the first person on stage was Director Christina Rios. After taking a selfie with us audience members, she hopped on stage and led us into the show with her charm. I knew from then this show was going to be an excellent piece of art.

In The Heights centers around the lives of diverse members of the Latino community, Washington Heights. The introduction to the first act caught my attention instantly with bells and a catchy beat. The ensemble cast entered at the perfect time. The focus of the plot seemed to center around a young man. A Spanish bodega owner named Usnavi and his Abuela. Actor Jesse Munoz really owned his part as the confident rapping and singing business owner. The actors have a very natural vibe like they’ve been working together a while.  While the lead characters performed, there was constant ensemble action in the background keeping the theme of the neighborhood realistic. I actually felt as if I was in the neighborhood myself. There was a touching family vibe. Abuela Claudia embraces her role as the neighborhood matriarch. She definitely reminded me of my own Abuela and my older Aunt Catherine. I felt connected to her. Every single voice stood out in its own way. Actress Cassandra Lopez who plays Nina Rosario has a vibrant

Photo Courtesy of Jill Ritter

There was a touching family vibe. Abuela Claudia embraces her role as the neighborhood matriarch. She definitely reminded me of my own Abuela and my older Aunt Catherine. I felt connected to her. Every single voice stood out in its own way. Actress Cassandra Lopez, who plays Nina Rosario, has a vibrant Broadway voice. Her voice is comparable to actress Lea Michele’s in range and volume. Just beautiful!

The musical as a whole really captures the struggles and emotions of a common working class community. During ensemble scenes, it was really hard to keep my eye on just one actor but everyone truly embraced their characters. I believed each and every one of them. The cast harmonized well together, the non-speaking actors were great at their background roles. Although the first act dragged a bit, the scenes I watched had me wanting more. One thing that had me glued and wanting more was the chemistry between Nina and Benny. It reminded me of the type of relationship Simba and Nala had. After a few scenes of character

After a few scenes of character development, the plot really began to unfold. We were left hanging on the edge of our seat at the end of Act 1. After a short intermission Act 2 came in with a bang! The show featured a child actress named Alora Marguerite, while her parts were short and sweet she captivated the audience and really stood out. The Hispanic culture was thoroughly embraced, but the story arcs created In The Heights can easily be connected with any culture. As an audience, we were swept off our feet with detailed choreography, beautiful voices, comedy, romance, and a range of other emotions. Actor Kevin Corpuz stood out in his comedic sidekick role as Sonny. The director

As an audience, we were swept off our feet with detailed choreography, beautiful voices, comedy, romance, and a range of other emotions. Actor Kevin Corpuz stood out in his comedic sidekick role as Sonny. The director mentioned that this was R-S Theatrics first show in their new home. After seeing the show, it really surprised me because it was as if they’d been performing in this theatre from the beginning. The plot was well written, and the actors truly brought the story to life. The show received a standing ovation and has already sold out for the next two days. It’s less than $30 to attend and it’s well worth the ticket.

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