BWW Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre Conservatory manages to do the impossible - each show is more spectacular than the last. "In the Heights", with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, is no exception. A charming story of a small community turned into a family did the same for ours, bringing the community out to celebrate through the theatre arts the amazing work of 62 young artists and the outstanding professionals of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. The immediate standing ovation was well deserved.
From the opening dynamic of Graffiti Pete (Jawan E. Hayes) and Lin-Manuel stunt double Spencer Landis's version of Usnavi to the heartwarming Nina (Allegra Miles) singing duets with Benny (David Cochise Williams); there was no shortage of character dynamics. The impressive part was the ease of their relationships after only 3 weeks of rehearsals. The young Jaelyn Korkin pulled off a spunky elderly Abuela Claudia with the poise of a professional. Nicholas Russell as the Piragua Guy nearly stole the show. The trio of Solana Rudnitsky as Vanessa, Chloe Beal as Daniela, and Sara Angelina Rivera as Carla was well cast as they each played individuals with incredible vocals. Luca Riley played a young Sonny which worked well to develop a contrast with an already young cast. It was easy to lose yourself in the storytelling which is no small feat for even professional performers. "In the Heights" was top quality.
Ricky Nahas (Director/Choreographer) did an amazing job not only capturing the spirit of Washington Heights but also incorporating such a large number of students with assistant director Lea Roy. The costume designs by Brittani Seach were fun and bright. The scene when Abuela describes arriving in 'Nueva York' the cast transformed from the brights to neutral overcoats bringing gravity to the story. Lighting Designer Michael Jon Burris created excitement and tension, directing the audience to multiple plotlines. "In the Heights" even has a real 'Blackout' cue which sound designer Marty Mets intensified that caused the audience to gasp. Scenic and props designer Casey Blanton created a linear two-story set that simply suggested all the playing areas. It was a perfect amount of elements. Music Director John Mercurio was flawless as always and the students' vocals were amazing thanks to Kerry Rocks (Music Assistant). Resident stage manager Noelle Dibble kept the whole show flowing.
"The Senior Conservatory is an excellent annual opportunity for local teens to have the chance to experience what it's like to work in professional theatre and perform on that Theatre's stage in a full musical," said Julie Rowe, director of education for the Conservatory. "A fun-filled summer evening is in store at the theatre with In The Heights!"
Come join the family.
Showtimes for the Conservatory's upcoming production of In The Heights are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for children. For tickets, call the Theatre's box office at (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org.
About the Conservatory
Drawing nearly 600 students per year, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts is a premiere professional Conservatory that offers a challenging, innovative and quality theatre experience to students of all ages and abilities. In addition to a full schedule of classes, the Conservatory's hands-on workshops and master classes offer students an opportunity to learn first-hand from nationally known directors and Broadway performers, agents and local instructors. More than 25 percent of the Conservatory's students receive scholarships. For more information about the Conservatory including a full schedule of classes, visit www.jupitertheatre.org/education.
About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida's preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state's largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws 100,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 8,560 and has world-class classroom facilities in support of its Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of youth and adults. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and has earned numerous Carbonell Awards, South Florida's highest honor for artistic excellence, including the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence. For more information about the Theatre's upcoming shows and Conservatory, visit www.jupitertheatre.org or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.