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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

The pulse of a N.Y. neighborhood in ‘In the Heights’

‘In the Heights” refers to an exhilarated state of mind as well as a vibrant city neighborhood. For the SpeakEasy Stage Company’s current production, a vivacious ensemble creates a community of absolutely irresistible characters, capturing all the life and energy of this Tony Award-winning musical.

There’s a formulaic framework to the storytelling of this show, conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also its composer and lyricist. But that’s simply a device to ease our entry into a hardscrabble pocket of Washington Heights, in northern Manhattan, where Spanish is spoken and the rhythms of Latin music echo through the streets. Fueled by seductive salsa, samba, and merengue, Miranda and book writer Quiara Alegría Hudes weave a tale of love and loss about people who feel a combination of affection and embarrassment for the place they call home.

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