Under the direction of Chari Arespacochaga and with choreography by Julio Agustin, the pace of the play almost never lets up. It’s a marathon, testing the dancers’ endurance as they shake, shimmy and salsa through the non-stop musical breaks.
Sanchez plays Usnavi with just the right balance of swagger and self-deprecation. Ali Cole (Nina Rosario) gives a heart-wrenching performance in “Breathe.” The shame of disappointing her friends and family is a feeling that washes over the audience as she hits the most climactic notes.
And whether she’s speaking, singing or dancing, all eyes are on Vanessa (Lannie Rubio), rooting for her champagne and happily-ever-after. Though really, the entire cast is noteworthy, with each character brought to life as a unique, defined neighbor, no matter how small the part.