By Douglas Gonzalez
“In the Heights” is a dramatic musical that was performed at Casa 0101.
Casa 0101 was built by Jean Deleage’s children in honor of all his artistic work, which included theatre and paintings.
“In the Heights” takes place in Brooklyn, New York and is about poverty and love. The play exposes the Puerto Rican and Dominican culture and language. The Rosario family included Kevin the father figure, Camila the mother, and the daughters Nina and Vanessa. Kevin, who was a farmer in Puerto Rico, decides one day to quit his farming work and travel to New York where he eventually builds his own business as a limousine caterer.
Benny, a faithful employee of Kevin, is introduced in the play and eventually falls in love and starts a relationship with Nina. Vanessa is sexy and popular in the barrio; every man wants Vanessa. She makes her living as a cosmetologist.
Nina on the other hand, enjoys her schoolwork and has receives a scholarship to Stanford University in California. Nina is in trouble because her grades were not sufficient enough to fulfill her scholarship requirement, and she drops out of college. Eventually she breaks the bad news to her parents. Not only were her grades bad, but also she had insufficient funds and could not survive.
Kevin Rosario, played by Luis Marquez, showed his personality so well. His acting was very precise as to what he was supposed to portray.
As for Camila Rosario, played by Martica Cardenas, was not afraid to show her hysteria when her husband decides to sell his limousine company to allow Nina to enroll back into Stanford University.
The play was extremely vibrant, and full of singing and dancing to Salsa music. The play had energy, and was sexy in an insidious way. The play included solos from all the major characters, and each character sung about his or her life.
The lighting was incredible. The lights expressed emotion and brought the play to life. Without the light designs the play would not make sense.
The costumes matched each character well. The women were wearing bright colors and dresses, while the men wore jeans and t-shirts. A very unique thing about the play was the rapping involved. They rapped about living in the barrio, money, woman and school. The rap expressed political viewpoints of living in poverty, and how education plays a key role in escaping the barrio.
The best performer in the play was Vanessa, played by Valeria Maldonado. She was lively in her signing and in her solos. Her costume design was the most attractive, and very classy. Vanessa also received the loudest applause at the end of the play.
There were no mishaps, falls or mistakes. Overall, the play was marvelous.