Añoro mi abuela.
I certainly miss my grandmother. She left this earth 21 years ago this month. I still think of her almost every day.
And she was certainly on my mind last evening at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, as Rayanne Gonzales gave a bravura performance as Abuela Claudia in Broadway At Music Circus’ premiere of the five time Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights.
Yeah, let’s blame my misty eyes on my grandma, not on Gonzales’ incredible stage presence or vocal prowess. If you can still get tickets (the show runs through Sunday, August 25), you need to hear her bring the house down with “Paciencia y Fe” (“Patience and Faith”), performed midway through the show’s first act. Abuela Claudia is the heart and soul of this production, as well as of In The Heights’ vibrant New York City neighborhood.
That’s not to say that Gonzales is In The Heights’ only star. I knew we were in for a show when Gerald Caesar and Didi Romero joined each other on stage for the first time. I don’t remember ever hoping harder for a stage bound couple to get together. Their chemistry and voices were caliente!
I saw my own father — and my own reflection — in Tony Chiroldes’ Tony. His performance of “Inútil” actually got to me minutes before Gonzales floored me. And I completely fell in love with Nina V. Negron as Vanessa.
In The Height’s Tony Award-winning score seamlessly blends Latin rhythms with hip hop and pop, and the result had me dancing up the aisle on my way out of the Wells Fargo Pavilion.
The musical was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical theater genius behind the smash hit Hamilton. That fact has been a major selling point for Broadway At Music Circus in marketing media for this show, but having seen this new production, Miranda’s involvement is almost an afterthought, for me. I wouldn’t care of Mickey Mouse had written In the Heights — this production may be my favorite of Broadway At Music Circus’ 2019 season, and with their wondrous The Wiz just weeks ago, that’s saying a lot.
If you’d like to see the thrilling In The Heights, don’t dawdle. When I last checked, Wednesday and Thursday nights are your best bets, as Friday through Sunday are almost sold out.
Buena suerte! Y muchas gracias a Broadway At Music Circus!
Tickets for In The Heights are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at BroadwaySacramento.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento. For for information, visit BroadwaySacramento.com