Saturday, September 03, 2011

would've appreciated the latino crash course

my friend and i just watched the musical In The Heights. i've heard about the play from my friends and i had no idea what the story was about only that it's a great musical and it had a latin flavor to it. i didn't even know if i would like it. but when i saw Felix Rivera get out the stage, i had a smile on my face. i knew i was going to like it.

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the story is about a community in Manhattan's Washington Heights where everyone has grown to be a family. Usnavi (he got his name from one of the navy fleets when his parents arrived in the country) owns a store where everyone gets their coffee. there is a parlor right next to it where his crush, Vanessa works. there is a cab terminal right next to it, owned by Kevin and Camila Rosario, who want nothing but the best for their only daughter studying at Stanford, Nina; Benny, the only non-Spanish speaking member of the community and Kevin's employee, falls in love with Nina; and then there's Abuela Claudia, who is the matriarch of the neighborhood.

each and everyone of them have big dreams, high hopes. Kevin wants to make sure that Nina doesn't have to work as hard as he did, having a demanding father. Nina wants to make it on her own without worrying her parents. Benny wants to have his own car service. Vanessa just wants to get out of this town and Usnavi - well, he just wants to ask Vanessa out and fulfill all of her dreams.

i didn't have high expectations of the characters as i didn't know of the story beforehand so i wasn't disappointed. although i have to agree with a friend's observation that Felix, having been a regular of these plays, doesn't become his character anymore. he's just Felix. and watching a play, you want to fall in love with the character, not just the person playing it. i feel that while i loved the story and the actors did a great job of playing the characters, they didn't exactly "transform". some of the songs were good and entertaining, i just didn't understand them as they were in Spanish.

lastly, i just hate it when people watch a play, just for the sake of watching or because somebody put them up to it, so they don't try to understand what it is to you or what it means for other people. there was this one scene, one of the more important ones in the play where the matriarch dies and everyone is sad, teary-eyed and very emotional and some idiot in the audience (person behind me) said, "sino si Claudia?" (who's Claudia?) and it totally ruined it for me and my friend. we had to stop ourselves from laughing. pay attention next time, sweetie.