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Marriott Theatre’s ‘In The Heights’ Is A Bevy Of Energy And Joy

Experience the vibrant energy and captivating storytelling of In The Heights at The Marriott Theatre while you can! This Tony Award-winning musical celebrates the dreams and struggles of a diverse community in New York in an unforgettable theatrical experience.

If you are looking for an evening full of music, laughter, passion, energy, ache, and joy, look no further than the Marriott Theatre’s new production of In The Heights. Having won four Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical, this Lin-Manuel Miranda vehicle has something for absolutely everyone.

Joseph Morales and Jordan Arredondo in 'In The Heights' at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire IllinoisYou may be familiar with the musical sensation that is Hamilton, the most talked about Lin-Manuel Miranda piece. It has been dominating the stage since 2015 and most people are familiar with it, at least in passing. But In The Heights was Mr. Miranda’s debut piece and – while this might get me into a little bit of trouble – in my opinion, in various ways, it’s even better than Hamilton.

Being the musical nerd that I am, I would argue that Lin-Manuel’s ability to layer voices and tones within the same song is at its peak with In The Heights. In particular, during songs like “Fireworks,” “96,000,” and “Finale,” the Marriott ensemble is able to do every single note justice and bring out the beauty that can be found by just the right artists loving a piece just the right way.

The company of 'In The Heights' at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire IllinoisIn The Heights is the story of a colorful collective of people in Washington Heights, New York over a few very hot summer days. Narrated by Usnavi, a bodega owner whose wish is to go back to the Dominican Republic, we meet his cousin Sonny, his grandmother Abuela, his love interest Vanessa, his friends Benny and Nina, as well as various other characters – all of whom have deep hopes and desires of their own. Each morning, while scraping by, most characters play the lottery to see if they can turn those dreams into a reality, and at some point, someone wins.

The voices in this ensemble are stunning. I could easily discuss each and every performer and what they bring to their role vocally, emotionally, and physically, but I encourage you to see the show and experience exactly what I mean. You will be floored by the talent on this stage.

Andres J. DeLeon in 'In The Heights' at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire IllinoisA few people who had moments that I can’t help but talk about are Paola V. Hernández (as Vanessa) whose vocal range pierced through the calm such that you felt it in your body, Jordan Arredondo (as Sonny), whose deep emotions about his future made you feel it in your gut, and Andres J. DeLeon (as the Piragüero), whose voice was so soothing and beautiful that I’d love to buy any lullaby album that he produces. Also, the passion and dancing from Wesley J. Barnes and Kiana Rodriguez will blow your mind.

Joseph Morales and Crissy Guerrero in 'In The Heights' at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire IllinoisThere were some excellent choices with lighting, staging, and prop usage as well. During the song, “Breathe,” there was a heartbeat lighting effect that brought additional depth to the message, and it is always impressive to watch how the Marriott directors are able to make full use of the stage and walkways with the cast during performances. It allows for a richness of voices and energy that is never lacking and fully surrounds the audience.

In The Heights is a production that you won’t want to miss. Chock full of talent, stellar music, and upbeat and touching lyrics – make the time to see this. By the end of the show, you can be sure that your neck will be sore from all of the grooving you’ll be doing in your seat.