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In The Heights - Tony Award-winning Broadway musical comes to Southwark Playhouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TONY Award-winning Broadway musical, In The Heights, will receive its London premiere in a new production at Southwark Playhouse (The Large), where it runs from May 15 (previews from May 9) to June 7, 2014.

Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, In The Heights is described as an exhilarating journey into Washington Heights, one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.

With a ‘gripping story and incredible Latin and hip-hop infused score’, In The Heights is a groundbreaking 21st century musical about what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home.

In The Heights opened at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in February 2008. The production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Southwark Playhouse Artistic Director Chris Smyrnios said:

In The Heights is a celebration of community and identity, but it is also a chronicle of the challenges facing a neighbourhood on the cusp of change. With Southwark Playhouse sitting at the heart of a passionate community faced with significant redevelopment, it’s an inspiring place to be debuting a new production of this bold piece.”

The London premiere will be directed by Luke Sheppard, Associate Director of Matilda (West End/Broadway) and Singin’ In The Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre/Palace Theatre). His recent directing credits include Hundred and One Dalmatians (Castle Theatre), Happy Never After (Pleasance Theatre), Peter Pan (Beck Theatre), Mort (Rose Theatre), Bed And Sofa (Finborough Theatre) and The Great British Soap Opera and Jet Set Go! (Jermyn Street Theatre).

In The Heights will be choreographed by Drew McOnie, whose recent work includes the critically acclaimed new production of Chicago (Leicester’s Curve Theatre) and The McOnie Company’s inaugural production Drunk (Bridewell Theatre). His other recent work includes a collaboration with Matthew Bourne for the Coronation Festival Gala at Buckingham Palace, West Side Story (NYMT at Victoria Warehouse), 13, directed by Jason Robert Brown (Apollo Theatre), Laurel and Hardy (Watermill Theatre) and James and the Giant Peach (UK Tour).

Casting has yet to be announced.

In The Heights is conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes.

Produced by Runaway Entertainment Ltd and Paul Taylor Mills Ltd, and presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe, the production has musical supervision by Tom Deering (From Here To Eternity, The Color Purple) and lighting design by Howard Hudson (Titanic, Taboo).

Tickets: £22, £18 concessions, £12 previews (May 9 – 14). To book, call the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 8pm, Thursdays at 2.30pm (except May 15), Saturdays at 3.30pm.

Also in The Large at Southwark Playhouse: a searing new version of Chekhov’s most haunting masterpiece Three Sisters, reworked for the 21st century by Anya Reiss (April 3 to May 3, 2014).