This show is amazing! It is an opera, really, with most of the story exposition in the songs and dances. A truly innovative mix of the Latin, Caribbean, Hip-Hop and Rap music and dance of the Washington Heights district of the upper west side of Manhattan. The show is alternately funny, poignant, moving and inspiring with some surprising plot twists. I laughed out loud and cried real tears on several occasions throughout the show. Both the choreography and music were innovative and wonderfully complimentary to each other and to furthering the narrative. The characters and performances were superb and rang true throughout. Even the most broadly drawn stereotypes were spot-on! While there is a considerable amount of rap, Spanish language and barrio vernacular - tonights West Coast audience seemed totally comfortable with the mix regardless of their ethnicity and/or language skills. I will see it at least once or twice more and will try to get even closer to the stage. I would have given it 5 stars but for the fuzzy audio during the first 20 minutes. Sitting in the back of the orchestra at the Pantages Theater, it was difficult to hear the rap and song lyrics at first. Not sure if it was a technical issue or that it just took my ears that long to adjust to the unique style of this show. You must come ready to pay attention as the musical numbers are not peripheral or add-ons to the story. The music numbers, lyrics, dance, orchestration as a whole IS the story and makes the entire experience greater than the sum of its parts. DONT MISS THIS SHOW . . . . . ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE ANY CONNECTION WITH THE LATIN CULTURES IN THE USA OR WITH ANY IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE!
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