Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

Playing now through May 14!

Daniel O'Donnell Comes to BBMann in December

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre's production of IN THE HEIGHTS, directed by Eliseo Roman, is now playing.

This iconic Lin-Manuel Miranda musical tells the story of a certain block in Washington Heights where people with high spirits, patience, faith, and big dreams live.

The plot centers around bodega owner Usvani, played by Justin Torres. I thought he was perfect in this role; he had all the charisma, hope, and personality that Usvani is known for, and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. He runs the bodega with his little cousin, Sonny (Darren Velardez), and I appreciated their familial friendship. Usnavi also has a crush on Vanessa, a girl who is desperate to move away from Washington Heights. Vanessa is played by Jessie del Rio, and I thought she did an excellent job portraying Vanessa's determination and strength.Daniel O'Donnell Comes to BBMann in December

The other romance in the show is between Nina (Paula Figueroa Caunedo), who is returning to the neighborhood after dropping out of college much to the dismay of her parents, Kevin (Rudy Martinez) and Camila (Tamarin Ythier), and Benny (Luther Brooks IV), who works for Nina's father. Their blooming relationship is sweet, and I thought these two actors were excellent.

The people who spread all the town gossip are salon owner Daniela (Cynthia Ana Rivera) and Carla (Annette Rodriguez). Their characters are so fun together, and their performances were very lively.

The one who brings everyone together and holds down the block is Abuela Claudia, played by Leanne Acero. You can't help but love her character and how she relies on "Paciencia y Fe." Other notable characters include Graffiti Pete (Matt Rivera) and Piragua Guy (Jon Rodriguez). Graffiti Pete dances and brings entertainment to the stage, and it's hard not to smile when Piragua Guy shows up.Daniel O'Donnell Comes to BBMann in December

This show is packed full of songs you'll be singing long after you return home. From "In the Heights" to "96,000," "Carnaval del Barrio," "No Me Diga," and more, there are so many fun and entertaining musical numbers. There are of course some less high-energy songs woven throughout, but they all add a lot to this wonderful story.

Alongside direction by Eliseo Roman, the show was choreographed by Rebecca Kritzer, with a set design by Evan Adamson, lighting design by Russell Thompson, costume design by John P. White, sound design by Abbey Dillard, musical direction by Loren Strickland, Chris McCleary as the Technical Supervisor, Terri L. Schafer as the Costume Supervisor, Zachary Dietz as the Musical Supervisor, Trevor Bourland as the Musical Assistant, Karl A. Smith as the Stage Manager, Brian Enzman as the Casting Director, and Dominic Lau as the Technical Director. A lot goes into putting together such a brilliant production, and this creative team did a wonderful job. Every bit was colorful, joyful, and perfectly fitting for this story.Daniel O'Donnell Comes to BBMann in December

This is one of my favorite productions I've seen at Broadway Palm in a while, and I highly encourage you to get tickets and see it. You will leave filled with so much hope, perspective, and inspiration, and probably an urge to dance as well. It is a beautiful, lively, sentimental piece of theatre that celebrates culture and heritage, and I love it.

To learn more and buy tickets, click here:

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