CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stage review: Pittsburgh CLO's 'In the Heights' admirably brings the barrio to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburghers suffering from “Hamilton” withdrawal would do well to get their Broadway hip-hop fix with the PIttsburgh CLO’s production of “In the Heights,” Mr. Miranda’s first Tony-winning musical.

The show is set in the New York barrio (Spanish for neighborhood) of Washington Heights. Usnavi, played by recent Carnegie Mellon graduate Joshua Grosso, runs a convenience store with his cousin Sonny (David Del Rio). Just like most of his neighbors, Usnavi yearns for more than his circumstances.

1 comment:

Sammy Williams said...

I was underwhelmed by In the Heights. The show was good, but it did not have as much of an effect on me as I was expecting. I saw it at a school in Maryland, and oddly enough the show at Pittsburgh CLO was very similar. Both had incredibly talented actors playing the roles of Usnavi, Nina, and Abuela Claudia. In Pittsburgh CLO’s production, I personally thought Abuela Claudia had the most outstanding performance. She had a flair that I found delightful, and I was on the verge of tears when she died. Oppositely, I thought Vanessa had one of the weaker performances. She was a fantastic dancer, but I really wasn’t drawn to her vocals at all. Additionally, both productions had problems with sound mixing. Last weekend I had serious difficulty hearing most of the show, although that didn’t take much away from the performance considering I had seen it before. Had I been seeing the show for the first time, however, I feel I may have missed important plot points (ie. Abuela Claudia winning $96,000 dollars). Despite my being underwhelmed, I actually enjoyed the show. I love the music and the story, so I wasn’t totally disappointed.

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