www.entertainmentvancouver.com Review of In the Heights

Summer is almost here– and with it an upbeat, fun and funky musical about life in a New York Barrio has arrived at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre.

There are some outstanding performances in this Tony award-winning musical, including Sharon Crandall’s “Abuela” (grandmother). She has an incredible voice, coupled with an insightful presentation that brings special understanding to her role as the matriarch in her ‘hood. It’s a bit of nostalgia for what makes a great community — family, friends, history and acceptance.

Caleb Di Pomponio, who plays “Sonny,” had the funniest lines, and worked each one of them — including a salute to Bert ‘n’ Ernie.

While we, as Vancouverites, may not be aware of what a neighbourhood like Washington Heights is all about, there is no problem at all relating to the trials and tribulations laid out in the story line.

I really cared about those people — and that’s always the sign of a good play and good performers.

While I didn’t leave the theatre humming any of the tunes, the music is enjoyable and upbeat.

There’s also wonderfully energetic choreography by Lisa Stevens, executed by a well-rounded cast.

As always, the Arts Club goes all out to make sure they give us a summer show everyone can enjoy.

“In The Heights” delivers all of that — and just a bit more — like some thoughtful ideas to take home with you to ponder over while you sip your “piragua” (frozen ice with fruit-flavoured syrup.)

 

– Monika Forberger for www.entertainmentvancouver.com