Anna Louizos' scenic design for In the Heights was stunner for this wannabe New Yorker. I sat in silence soaking up every detail I could before the show started.
The neighborhood comes to life when its people come out to work and play (and sing and dance). The action is not only on the street, but on the balconies and fire escapes as well. (Lighting by Howell Binkley)
Rosario's: The signage, slightly messy collection of car assignment clipboards under florescent lighting, tell the story of an aging business limo company that is struggling financially, while remaining settled in decades-old tried and true processes.
Daniela's Salon: The "unisex" signage is really a ruse. This beauty parlor clearly caters to the ladies of the neighborhood - their hair, sure, but also the beehive-like nature of their gossip bonding sessions. The familiarity and coloring of this design exudes the colorful feel of this genuine family of women. Still, the style of the much loved chairs betrays another business that clings to tradition, while struggling to exist.
Usnavi's Bodega is a cat, so familiar and well-stocked is this neighborhood staple. I really appreciated the knowing murmur of the audience as this set element was revealed. The accuracy of the fully stocked "store" was so real, I wouldn't have been surprised if they rotated stock between shows. The skill of knowing his neighbors' every need with everything within arm's reach speaks not only to the actor's skill, but the perfection of Louizos' attention to detail.
Click photos to enlarge.
📸 Joan Marcus