This show is amazing? No Me Diga! IN THE HEIGHTS at the King's Cross Theatre

I adore anything that Lin-Manuel Miranda puts his mind to, much like the vast majority of the theatre loving community: I am head-over-heels obsessed with the Hamilton cast album and I can't wait for the new Disney movie scores to come from his as well because we all know how much I love Disney and especially how excited I am for Moana anyway. But before all of this magical work came from that man's genius brain, along came the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights.

The show made its off-West End premiere a year or so ago at the Southwark Playhouse and now it's back again for a limited season through early January at the King's Cross Theatre. I went along this time last week to see what all the fuss was about and was more than pleasantly surprised: this show is a sublime fusion of vibrant colour, gorgeous music and fantastic dance.

I think the score really is the best part of this show. Manuel-Miranda manages to fuse the beautiful sound of rich, latina music with typical musical theatre tunes to create a fantastic series of songs that sound like no other. The infectious opening title number is enough to get anyone excited for the night ahead and beautiful ballads like Breathe really resonate and make this show the beautifully intimate production that it is. Seeing the show presented the way it is (on a traverse stage in a very small temporary theatre in King's Cross Station) adds even more to the show: there's something about this show that screams intimacy and it's lovely to be in such an intimate environment to experience it. It makes the intimate moments absolutely perfect and the bigger more full-scale moments even more exciting than they would be on a typical West End stage.

Story-wise, it's predictable and clichéd but it's a cliché that works and it was in no way unenjoyable. It's essentially a few different love stories mixed with family dilemma all set on the backdrop of latina Washington Heights in New York City - some people are trying to get out and leave as soon as possible and others are trying their best to make a live for themselves at home. The gorgeous aforementioned score adds to this and makes the show the brilliance that it really is. Even more so than that, the perfect choreography is what really sells this production as being a fantastic staging. Drew Mconie manages to take this music and makes the dancers really move with it in a way I've seen no other production do it. Jerry Mitchell's choreography in Kinky Boots, for example, is dance in a true musical theatre way but done with proper perfection, whereas Mconie's dance in this show is contemporary, complex but absolutely sound - it's sublime dance performed by an absolutely stellar cast. Sam Mackay perfoms a beautifully heartwarming Usnavi who melted my heart when he wanted my heart to melt and made me laugh when I was supposed to; it was fantastic. Sara Naudi's amazing vocals really sold it for me, as well as awesome performances from Lily Frazer, Jade Ewen and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt; Josie Benson's performance of the second act angry-diva-ballad Enough also filled me with so much "you go girl!" power, too.

I love off-West End shows and have managed to see some of my favourite productions ever off-West End: In The Heights is going on that list of reasons as to why people need to remember that the brilliance of off-West End theatre does exist. Now running through January 3rd: see. this. show.

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