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

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31 2016

Well, we had a busy summer, didn't we? No sooner had everybody caught their breath after the Profiles Theatre harassment scandal, with its satisfyingly dramatic climax (storefront windows plastered over with copies of the Reader cover story, Profiles abruptly shuttered), than we were confronted with another controversy: Porchlight Music Theatre announced that the lead role of Usnavi in its new staging of In the Heights would be played by Jack DeCesare. Let me repeat that for empty emphasis: In the Heights. Usnavi. Jack DeCesare. There was at least one rational reason for the fighting. Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (yes, he who would go on to become the author and longtime star of Hamilton), In the Heights is set in the Latino-majority Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, and Usnavi is a Dominican-born resident of it. DeCesare is reportedly of Italian-American descent, which means that the only Latin ancestors he can point to wore togas. While equal opportunity is a cherished value that applies to DeCesare as much as anybody, Latino artists were smart to make a stink about his selection, if only to remind the Chicago theater community that they're here, a major Latino role is still a rarity, and the chance to fill one important. Read the full review >>

Price: $50-$75

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