Sunday, July 13, 2008

In The Heights

For my birthday, my friend Mike took me to see "In the Heights"---a musical about Washington Heights--which is so far up the top of Manhattan it may as well be Canada.

"It's gonna win the Tony" I told Mike, when he asked what I wanted to see. He bought us tickets, and then it DID win the Tony. The acceptance speech by the writer/lead was all rhythmical rap, and then I thought: Do I still have to see it?

So when the curtain went up on the sold-out show last week, and that lyrical rap started, I really wished I had swallowed several strong barbiturates. But then I got into it. Turns out that Manhattan gentrification has made it up even into the Heights! The musical was vibrant, diverse, and packed with energy and enthusiasm. And some impressive choreography.

But something was missing in the story. In the end I didn't care one bit what happened to any of the characters. This was not as it was supposed to be. In the Heights is filled with color and flavor and heart, but I was unphased by their plight. Not a good sign.

I've never felt so ambivalent about a piece of theatre.

5 comments:

oboist24 said...

hey don't be doggin on my hood! you might end up there when your 22% rent increase takes affect, so book your 1/2 train ride to canadian-heights before it too becomes like the ritzy Alpha-$ity.

The Blackout Blog said...

Yes! We definitely need more people to think that WaHi is inaccessible... mostly so they'll stop wanting to move there and drive up my rent.

When they opened the Starbucks on 168th and Broadway, I knew it was a bad sign.
D. Kareem

Jesse Archer said...

Definitely not doggin' on the hood. I love me some Washington Heights! It's just...so far away. :)

oboist24 said...

i'm all for gentrification, it'll push my neighbor drug-dealers up to the bronx and beyond! the east side of the heights still seems to be a little neglected.

Dtown~S said...

Thanks for those subtle references Jesse ;)