In The Heights Will Make UK Debut This Spring
In the….UK? While Broadway is use to seeing its imports or takes on british stage shows, we don’t see American productions head across the pond the opposite way quite enough anymore. However, the number of American productions receiving their London/UK premieres in recent years has risen greatly and is usually involving great pieces of theatre America is truly proud of. All of the above can be said true for the groundbreaking musical In the Heights which exploded onto Broadway in 2008 and brought to life a totally new style of theatre people had experienced before. This brand new, fresh and exhilarating musical brings to life one of New York’s neighborhoods in a celebration of dance and song. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that In The Heights will make its London Premiere later this spring!
In the Heights is a musical that features music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda with a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The story takes place in Washington Heights in New York City and tells the story of the neighborhood filled with mostly Dominican-American residents. While we meet an ensemble of characters, it is all held together by Usnavi who might as well be the neighborhood elected mayor. The musical tells the story of the neighborhood through thick and thin times as it battles to find itself as time change in New York City in the 21st century.
Producers have happily announced that the 2008 Tony Award winning Best Musical In The Heights will make it’s London and UK premiere later this spring. The show is set to premiere at the Southwark Playhouse in London. The show will officially begin previews May 9th, 2014 and officially opening on May 15th. The show at this time is currently only scheduled to run through June 7th.
In The Heights will be directed by Luke Sheppard (Pictured Left) and feature choreography by Drew McOnie. Sheppard recently served as the associate director for Matilda the musical in the West End while McOnie recently choreographed Chicago at the Leicester Curve. The production features musical supervision by Tom Deering. Howard Hudson is on board as lighting designer and Will Burton is casting the show. Runaway Entertainment Ltd. and Paul Taylor Ltd. are producing the show with special arrangements provided by R&H Theatricals Europe.
At this point in time, no casting has been announced for the production.
In The Heights debuted on Broadway in 2008 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre following productions in Connecticut in 2005 and Off-Broadway in 2007. The show received much acclaim was nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The show took home 4 Tony Awards including Best Choreography, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Musical. Producers proudly announced 10 months into the run that the production had recouped it’s $10 million dollar investment. The Original Broadway Cast recording won the 51st Annual Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
In a statement to the press, Southwark Playhouse artistic director Chris Smyrnios commented on his excitement to present In The Heights not only during its UK debut but for the story it tells as well.
“In the Heights is a celebration of community and identity, but it is also a chronicle of the challenges facing a neighborhood 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.”
Luner on Theatre is thrilled to hear that In The Heights is headed to the stage in London. This is a fantastic, ground breaking and brand new piece of American musical theatre that stands unmatched to anything else like it currently playing on stage in the West End or Broadway. In the Heights is so different from typical musical theatre and yet so similar at the same time. The master behind the piece, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has brought to life an incredible image of a neighborhood in New York City he knows too well. This piece will be so interesting to see in the UK not only to see how it is played out but how audiences react to it. Remember, this is a neighborhood they may not even know exists in Manhattan. However, that did not stop thousands of fans from around the nation from falling in love with this piece during its Broadway run and I doubt that would affect the London run either. I’m interested to see if Miranda will be involved to any extent with the London staging of the show even though he has not been announced to be attached to the production in any way.
Stay tuned to Luner on Theatre for more details regarding Washington Heights coming to Jolly Ole’ England! We will be sure to bring you casting, photos and more as In The Heights moves forward and hits the stage before the summer even begins! Visit Luner on Theatre’s London Lookout Page for theatre news specifically for the West End and England. For more information, visit Southwark Playhouse’s Official Website. Be sure to follow Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!