A must-see production at Park Playhouse

Reviewer takes the opportunity to rap about this show
L to R: Joyel Kaleel (Carla), Amanda Serrano (Daniella), Brandon Jones (Piraguero), Ariana Papaleo (Nina), Devin Cortez (Benny).
L to R: Joyel Kaleel (Carla), Amanda Serrano (Daniella), Brandon Jones (Piraguero), Ariana Papaleo (Nina), Devin Cortez (Benny).

Categories: Entertainment

Yo Washington Park after dark becomes Washington Heights/ On rain-free nights. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show about the barrio/Will blow your mind. You’re gonna find the kind/Of eye-poppin’,  head-spinnin’, and how’d-they-do-that grinnin’/Entertainment. Here’s the dope about the plot: people full of hope/

“In the Heights” got different dreams, like Nina, but the seams/Are rippin’, and she’s slippin’ , flunkin’ out of college/And the knowledge kills her ’rents who went to great expense/To pay. Usnavi’s got a corner store but more than that nada, zip.

Abuela’s hip to everything that goes on in the Heights, her sights/Are set on everyone’s success. Benny’s happiness is Nina/But her old man has a different plan and takes a stand./

Act I ends with a blackout. Pow! So what now? It’s the dark night/Of the soul, no control. Confusion everywhere. Dreams? Illusions!/But the money they all need (short of greed) finds a way into their lives/And the dreams they have seem more like fact now, Jack./Life looks do-able, renewable — and the traces of long faces/Disappear; instead a glow of hope illuminates this barrio./

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the guy you gotta hand it to/For writing words and melodies that won the Tonys./And Quiara Alegria Hudes’ book and lyrics hook you, too./
This production is outstanding ’cause the man/Behind the show is Mike LoPorto with a team that is a dream./Tim Clow’s hip set design (revolving stage) is mighty fine./David Sexton is the next up for a kudo for his lights./

Brian Axford hits the heights of music-making and the band/Is smokin’, and the voices — they ain’t jokin! Belters everywhere/Will tear your heart out — here’s a shout-out to the dancers/Trained by Ashley-Simone Kirchner and her/Co — Joey Rosario. Luis Herrera’s talent scares ya/And Adam King does everything! Ariana Papaleo/Knows her way around a song — she don’t go wrong.  Devin Cortez is/A leading man, and Amanda (snap!) Serrano/Lights the set up. But you’ll get up at the end/For all the talent in this show, ’cause you know/You’ve heard a story that was sorry then got glory./

No me diga that you need another reason/To go this season to the Park — I mean the Heights —/Where the Latin beat you’ll move to and you’ll groove to/Will remind you of Miss Liberty, the freedom and prosperity/For all with love — not hate. And why we celebrate this date!

‘In the Heights’

WHERE: Park Playhouse, Washington Park, Albany
WHEN: Tues.-Sat. at 8, through July 27
HOW MUCH:  FREE stadium seating; reserved seats, $25-$18
MORE INFO:  518.434.0776, or [email protected]

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