The Heights - Skip It.
An Open Letter To the Actors in the Heights:
If you're one of the Actors in "The Heights," and you happened to notice that four people vacated the center box on the first level in the Ziff Opera House after intermission this afternoon, we're sorry. But we just. couldn't. sit. through. the. second. half. of. the. show. Even in what was, according to the usher the "best seat in the house." Your show was like "Rent" (which I didn't like) meets "West Side Story" which... was fine. In 1962.
The show was written to be understood entirely by a very limited audience - namely - people from Latino countries who live in and around New York City. I got the Latino cultural jokes - I didn't get the New York jokes. My friends probably got the New York jokes having lived in/around there, and the cultural jokes just whooshed over their heads.
The people with whom I went also don't understand Spanish, so half the show was lost on them. The balance of instrumental v. vocal wasn't done right, and the singing was so fast, I couldn't hear/understand half of the English that was sung (thank God for the ADA-required closed captioning); the first song didn't grab me, and frankly, I didn't care about the story at all.
But you all had a lot of energy. So, good for you. And it's not your fault. You didn't write the songs, you didn't write the script, and you didn't condense the set into the Ziff's tiny proscenium. (Seriously - that's a pretty narrow stage...for the size of the House.) And your dancing was... energetic. Even though the ensemble seemed pretty small.
But on the flip side, I've never walked out of a movie and I've never walked out of a show. Until today. When the four of us unanimously decided that there was no need for us to waste the remainder of our precious Sunday trying to get into a show we were all wishing was over within the first five minutes of its starting...
So, buck up. You all did the best you could, with what was written for you. Sorry the story was boring and the songs weren't catchy (I can't remember a single one...). I'm sorry I spent most of the show wishing you were singing "Skid Row" from "Little Shop of Horrors" over, and over, and over again.
But I'm not sorry I walked out. I ended up going over to a high school friend's house (she moved here) and having a blast. So on the balance, re-establishing a connection with someone I hadn't seen in 13 years won out. Sorry.
But best of luck to you all. And again. Great energy.