In the Heights | Cadillac Palace Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

In the Heights The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Dec. 15-Jan. 3 2010

For all that it trades on barrio grit, this musical is about as hardcore as your local Chipotle. Lin-Manuel Miranda's music sounds less specifically Latino than pop most of the time, and the Washington Heights neighborhood of Quiara Alegria Hudes's book conveys so little sense of marginalization, oppression, gang menace, or poverty that you find yourself wondering why everybody's always obsessing about getting out. To escape the jolly piragua vendor? To get a break from all that dancing, laughing, and familial closeness? But the main story threads are indeed concerned with fleeing. Deli owner Usnavi dreams of living in the Dominican Republic, land of his forebears. Hairdresser Vanessa will settle for a studio apartment somewhere else in New York. Brainy Nina is celebrated on the block for going to Stanford, and her parents will pay any price to keep her there. (Why they don't consider saving a fortune by sending her to Stony Brook University is one of the show's great mysteries.) This touring production is as bland as its happy ending, though several of the players know how to charm and Jose-Luis Lopez suggests big talent in a supporting role. –Tony Adler

Price: $15.50-$82.50


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