If you've never been to Hale in Orem--it's soooo small! And you know I love small theatrical spaces.
When I first saw In The Heights, it was on Broadway. I was in the upper balcony with my friend Mike. We were sitting next to a guy from Toronto. As I squinted to see the people, I liked the show--but I didn't feel a part of the show. Friday night, as Lyn and I danced in our seats, and I watched the cast fill this tiny space with Spanish and English, with dancing that moved through the actors from their toes to their hips, and I felt each actor's specific choices--I fell in love with this show.
I originally planned to go to see my friend Carolyn Crow play Daniela.
|Photo Credit Daniel Silva|
As expected, she was absolutely wonderful. She was funny, compassionate, and powerful.
I was surprised to see my friend Marcie Jacobsen in the cast as well!
Her Abuela was magical. She's too young to be anyone's abuela, but I adored her just the same. And pictured to her left is Ben Wille as Usnavi. He was powerful, vulnerable, hilarious, and absolutely inspiring. I'm getting a little vaklempt just thinking about it!
Surprisingly, they cast a white guy as Benny!
But Keith Evans was wonderful. And in white bread Utah--it's easy to see how white people struggle with class issues as well as any other race. I was impressed and delighted. Xandra Wille as Nina Rosario has a perfect voice. It was such a joy to see and hear her story unfold.
I'm not going to gush about everyone--but I will comment on Shae Robins' Vanessa. She was perfectly complicated. A strong, sexy, ambitious woman. She made me want to be a latina living in New York--not because of how pretty she is--but because of how powerful she was from the inside.
And I can't ignore Sonny! Oh Sonny! Elijah Thomas was hilarious. Comic gold is that man. Passive voice am I using. Sigh. As I google to try to find an image for him, I have discovered that there are a lot of Elijah Thomas's in the world.
The show is probably sold out. But go if you can get tickets!
Hale Center Theater in Orem, Utah. Visit http://webticketing.haletheater.org/ for tickets. They close Saturday night!
Big kudos to director Christopher Clark, choreographer Jennifer Hill-Barlow, and musical director Justin Bills. The ensemble was incredible. It was a beautiful night at the theatre!