By: Erin Reznick
As I was walking towards the entrance of the Toronto Centre for the Arts last night, I began to feel the rush of excitement that I usually get when I’m about to see an anticipated show. As a music theatre graduate, I have religiously listened to the original Broadway cast recording of In the Heights. Hearing Lin Manuel-Miranda passionately spit out verse after verse of poetic rap and hip hop or listening to actresses like Mandy Gonzales and Karen Olivo belt their tits off made me itch to see the show on Broadway. So when I heard that the non-Equity tour of the show was making it’s way to T.O. I couldn’t contain myself.
In the Heights, a musical which won four Tony Awards, a Grammy and was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for best drama, follows the lives of the small community of the Washington Height’s Bodega over three days. The lead character Usnavi (played on opening night by understudy Jeffrey Nunez), struggles with his sense of home. Orphaned at a young age after his parents emigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic, Usnavi aches to travel back to his parent’s birthplace to experience the stories that were once shared with him.
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