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10 Reasons You Should See In The Heights

10 Reasons You Should See In The Heights

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Shock horror! Another post about In The Heights! In case you still haven't seen the show, here are ten reasons why you should definitely take a trip down to the barrio!

If you want some background information on the show check out my review here and if you fancy reading a cast interview, there's one here.

Hamilton Dream Cast

Hamilton Dream Cast

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My Hamilton obsession has been out in full force recently and the prospect of it coming to the West End in 2017 has got me ridiculously excited and kind of nervous. I'm praying that I'll get tickets and that I won't have to sell a body part to pay for them! 

So with all the Hamilton fever going around, I wanted to do my own dream cast for the show (I was inspired by this post.) Before I start I want to say that I basically want the whole of the In The Heights cast to become the Hamilton cast so there's going to be a lot of them in this....! 

BGT Who I'm Backing: Zyrah Rose

BGT Who I'm Backing: Zyrah Rose

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Zyrah Rose. If you watched Britain's Got Talent last night, then you'll recognise that name, but if not then you may not know about this amazing Classical crossover group. 


They appeared in the final round of auditions last night wowing both the audience and judges with their haunting rendition of I See Fire by Ed Sheeran. If you want to be seriously impressed, watch their audition below: 

The Raunch, Spiegeltent | Review

The Raunch, Spiegeltent | Review

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Going into something with no idea what its about is both exhilarating and slightly terrifying. Whilst I wouldn't say I was terrified of what to expect when seeing The Raunch, I was slightly worried. I had absolutely no clue what the show was about except that it involved circus tricks and was sure to provide a  toe-tapping, exciting night. 

The Raunch is a show starring the Most Wanted of the international cabaret and circus scene and featuring a toe tapping, disco-hoedown soundtrack. 

In Conversation With... Lily Frazer | Interview

In Conversation With... Lily Frazer | Interview

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Back in October, I took a little trip to the Kings Cross theatre after my lecture to watch In The Heights. I didn't really know what to expect because I'd only heard a few of the songs but I was utterly blown away and have been in love with the show ever since! Check out my review here

I recently reached out to Lily Frazer who plays Nina in the show and she has been kind enough to do an interview with me about all things In The Heights...


For those that don't know, can you explain a little about the storyline of In The Heights and how your character Nina fits into it.

Lily Frazer as Nina and Cleve September as Sonny

In The Heights shows a few days in the life of the people who live in Washington Heights. There's a lot of poverty and financial struggle. Rent is rising due to gentrification and everyone seems to be trying to 'make it out' and make their mark on the world. The Rosarios for example own a taxi company which is failing financially. Nina Rosario the daughter has become the hope of the neighbourhood after leaving the barrio to go to Stanford university on a scholarship. However because she's been trying so hard to juggle her school work and working to pay for the rest of her tuition she has been failing her exams and after losing her  scholarship has decided to take leave of absence. She obviously feels a huge amount of guilt and anxiety on the way home and feels as if she has let the whole community and most importantly her parents down. She's come home to tell her parents the news and to also to try and get back to her roots and that's where her story begins really. 


I know you saw the show on Broadway, in what ways is the West End production similar and different to it?

I didn't actually see the show on Broadway. (AN. I was having a moment writing that question, I thought I'd heard Lily say she'd seen the show on Broadway!) I was studying at Arts Ed in London when it was on Broadway but I remember everyone in college was still just as excited about it. The soundtrack and libretto in the library were always checked out by someone. So naturally years later when it came to London I was thrilled. 

As for the West End production the staging is in traverse rather than a traditional proscenium arch so the setting is more intimate I think and with the cast dancing in the aisles as well it allows the audience to feel submerged in the setting. Our theatre is unique! The Kings Cross theatre makes the whole experience quite magical. The audience enter along actual railway tracks and through the 'subway' onto our stage. 


You played Eponine in Les Mis who is quite a contrast to Nina to say the least! Do you prefer portraying the family orientated, upbeat dance atmosphere of In The Heights or the highly dramatic, deep emotional atmosphere of Les Mis?

I wouldn't say I prefer either. I like a challenge and both roles are equally as challenging for different reasons. I feel that both roles are equally as vocally and emotionally demanding. 


Throughout In The Heights there is the overarching theme of home and the importance of it. What three things remind you of home?

I get home sick after a holiday abroad. I'll be sat on my plane and we'll be landing and I'll get a first glimpse of the green fields through the clouds and I'll suddenly get really excited to feel the cold weather on my face. Hilarious because I hate being cold so this feeling doesn't last long! 

I grew up in the West Midlands so I get really excited when I hear someone with a Midlands accent! Especially if they're a fellow actor! Feel like I've found a team mate! 

The Eagles greatest hits was played on almost every car journey my family ever went on when I was a kid. So I can't hear The Eagles without thinking of my family! 


Congratulations on the Oliviers, 3 awards is incredible for the show and you looked stunning! How has it been for you seeing the positivity of critics and audiences alike? Did you know you were doing something special when rehearsals started?


Lily at the 2016 Olivier Awards
I’m so unbelievably proud. That sentence actually doesn't do justice to how I feel about In The Heights. Cast, Crew, Production, Creative team have been through a lot since we opened in October. And not always good times like the Oliviers. There's been a lot of hard work that's been done on and off stage to make this production possible which is why I have so much pride in it. 

Last year when we opened the theatre wasn't very well known so at the start of our contract a lot of us were worried people wouldn't come. Also with the show being described as a rap musical we were worried about our target audience because of course that's not all In The Heights is. Also if it wasn't for the sell out production at the Southwark Playhouse we might not be here. It's been great to watch the audiences get bigger and to hear more and more people talk about how much they love the show. Turning up to a little gig at the Theatre Café a few weeks ago and not being able to get in the door because it was so packed with fans wanting to show support was so touching! I am extremely proud to be apart of that. 


If you switched roles with anyone in the cast, who would you choose and why? (I think we'd all love to see Nina rap!)

Lily Frazer as Nina and Joe Aaron Reid as Benny

Daniela looks like so much fun! 

Also I think I'd love to play Benny. I think he gets the best of both worlds. He gets to rap and dance but also gets to sing some beautiful love songs with Nina. Jammy! 


As someone who studied and went straight into a West End show, what advice would you give for anyone currently at university hoping to get into the performing arts industry?

I did a degree course at Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick. So I'm not sure if you would call it a university. 

Before I got accepted into ArtsEd when I was studying for my A levels a lot of teachers told me to go to university and study drama or Theatre Studies which after doing my own research wasn't the right for the kind of actor I wanted to be. I'm very proud of my degree but I'd say that my training at ArtsEd and the connections the school gave me were key to my success in the industry. Not only is the training impeccable but I would never have had an audition for Les Miserables if I wasn't given the opportunity to audition in front of casting directors when they were invited to audition us in my final year. You need to really do your research on exactly what you're going to get out of your training and more importantly what YOU want to achieve at the end. Eg. Do they provide a showcase or a show at the end of your third year? Do they invite agents and casting directors? Do they specialise in one area of musical theatre or all three? I was lucky in that Arts Ed pride themselves on preparing you so well for everything! If theres something I wish I'd done more of though whilst I was training would be to take class out of school hours to broaden my training. Take class outside of school hours. Get a head start. Always be one step ahead of your classmates and take everything that your teachers tell you with a pinch of salt. Criticism is good for you but don't let it destroy you! Make up your own mind. Take inspiration from other performers but directly comparing yourself to others is poisonous! Don't do it! I had to learn that the hard way. I could talk about this all day but I'll stop now! 


Finally, for someone deciding whether to see In The Heights, what 5 words do you think best sum it up?

Olivier 

Award

Winning

Breakthrough

Musical 
;) 


I want to say a huge thank you to Lily for taking the time to answer these questions. The show is unbelievably brilliant and Lily is wonderful as Nina. Please, if you can get to the Kings Cross theatre, go and see In The Heights! 

Also, keep and eye out on RewriteThisStory for some more In The Heights themed posts which are coming up! My original review of the show is here!
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