All tagged In The Heights

Musical Milestones: When the Theatre Reinvents Itself

The American Musical Theatre has always been shaped and stretched by innovation. Musicals that follow the patterns of other groundbreaking musicals may improve upon what the initial groundbreaker has done, but it's the musical that takes the first step outside of the box and convinces future creators to follow suit, that has generated the real growth within the art form. A handful of musicals have had the brazen audacity to do so. Today's column is a celebration of these movers and shakers of the musical form that have evolved the musical to where it is today. Not every title on this list is perfect, but each one changed what musicals could do and opened the doors for important new pieces to build on the foundations that they laid.

For some time now, I have wanted to occasionally devote my blog to looking at young talent, the up and comers of the theatre world. I like to think I know talent when I see it and in the case of young Jack DiFalco, I believe I am spot on about his future in the performing industry. Jack DiFalco is 19 years old and hails from Stormville, New York. I first encountered his acting abilities a few years ago when I saw him in the Trinity Players (of Poughkeepsie) production of In the Heights. A terrific production in its own right, Mr. DiFalco played “Graffiti Pete” and, though it was a small role, he jumped out of the chorus as a great dancer, and exuded a charisma and energy that drew the attention of the audience. In March of 2014, I had the pleasure of seeing Jack again at The Rhinebeck Center for the Performing Arts, this time as “Private Downey”, one of the two soldiers on trial in Aaron Sorkin’s riveting drama A Few Good Men. The acting range of someone so young was astounding, infusing his character with complexity, variety, and an endearing quality as well.