Saturday, February 14, 2015

It was a February 4 night when my sister and I walked the green paths of Ateneo de Manila University- the same paths that my father used to walk on. He had many stories from that place, stories that filled up half his life with joy. I imagine him there and each of these stories came to life. The breeze was cold that night, and the air fresh. Outside, the cars are slowly disappearing; heavy traffic from the day seemed like a myth. It was past 8 in the evening. What started as a stroll shifted to a hasty walk, then almost a run.

Stopping in front of a building, I felt embarrassed as I caught a glimpse of people cleaning up the table set up outside. As I approached, I was instead greeted with attentiveness and friendliness.

The show has started.

As soon as we settled on our seats, I was absorbed by the production and transported to Washington Heights where I became a by-stander engrossed with the individual and intertwining lives of the characters. The design of the set was crafted and placed with much thought and artistry. The music became the soul of the show, playing the emotions, tones, and depths of the characters and of the little town surviving and thriving. The actors (from the press/opening night) didn't portray the characters, but lived it so much so that I wanted to know each of them personally- as if they are one and the same, particularly the crass but kind-hearted Usnavi (a name that inspired his parents when a US NAVY ship passed by them) as well as the optimist hard-working Piragua guy (whose nameless-ness didn't hinder people from remembering him the most- as evident from the loud applause for him during curtain call). I, as an audience, have forgiven minor errors and some forgotten script because the musical as a whole gave me chills.

Most scenes from the musical play were beautiful, but the scene for Abuela's death as well as the black-out scene stood out the most.

Applause echoed inside the theater during curtain call. I traveled home with art craving fulfilled.

Ateneo Blue Repertory's In The Heights

Ateneo Blue Repertory's In The Heights

Ateneo Blue Repertory's In The Heights

It is without doubt that Ateneo Blue Repertory is hailed as a prestigious student theater company in the country. If I were from a real theater company, I would hire most of these kids in an instant. But I am merely an art enthusiast, so I will just be a strong admirer of the group. In The Heights will run until the 21st of February, 8 PM at the Rizal Mini Theater in Ateneo De Manila University. See poster for ticket inquiries.

The Belle Of A Boulevard is an official media partner of In The Heights.


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