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‘In The Heights’ – Soars beyond anything we have ever experienced in Selwyn Performing Arts

 From left to right - Finn Tarrant, Elijah Forsyth, Francesca Flores-Lim, Komal Singh and cast members

All of us who attended this years’ Selwyn musical ‘In The Heights’ know that we have experienced something extremely wonderful; extremely special. No-one left the theatre thinking;  it was a great ‘school’ production. We all left knowing we had witnessed a production magnificent enough to have been on Broadway. 

In his review of the show for NBR, Nick Grant declared our production to be..….’a truly remarkable achievement’.

Indeed, his words sum up how everyone felt:

‘The elaborate set – an amazingly detailed and realistic recreation of a city block that was designed by director/producer Duncan Allan and built by Kevin Worth – is a wonder to behold.

Wrangling a cast of 50 and a 14-strong band must have been a logistical nightmare but Mr Allan, choreographer Kim Santarelli, musical director Rachel Larcombe and vocal director Josh Clark have surmounted the challenge with aplomb, creating a persuasive sense of a neighbourhood that’s bursting with life.

The musical numbers are extremely accomplished, with impressive performances from musicians, chorus and lead singers. The members of the dance chorus, meanwhile, tackle their eclectic routines with panache, delivering a jolt of energy whenever they appear.

And the 12 performers in lead roles are uniformly strong. Morgan Dalton-Mill, Jodeci Flesher, Francesca Flores-Lim, Elijah Forsyth, Emily Griffiths, Rovertimus Llanes, Anthony Minarapa, Ellen Reid, Komal Singh, Finn Tarrant, Shanti Truong-George and Dylan Van Lier prove adept at essaying comedy and pathos and – while generous to their fellow actors – don’t miss the opportunity to seize their individual moments when they arrive.

Although these core ensemble members all exhibit great charm, technique and presence, Mr Tarrant deserves special mention by dint of his role as narrator requiring him to keep proceedings rolling. He does so with a lanky, loose-limbed grace and, when he gets his flow on during his hip hop numbers, his enthusiasm is irresistible’.

We are all hugely proud of the masterpiece that was executed on the Selwyn Theatre stage last week.  Those who granted Selwyn the rights to perform the NZ Premiere knew what they were doing and we are confident that Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the music and lyrics would have been exceptionally delighted had he seen it. HĀRO!  

                         Dylan Van Lier & Emily Griffiths                      Ellen Reid
     Shanti Truong-George & Finn Tarrant                                   Anthony Minarapa & Timooy Llanes
 Finn Tarrant, Morgan Dalton-Mill and cast members
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Selwyn College, Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama, Auckland, New Zealand
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