If you’ve read most of our posts here on the Dogwood Journal then you may understand why we are excited about the new In The Heights movie. We’re big fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton that debuted in the summer of 2020 on Disney+. Need proof? I searched for the word “Hamilton” on our site and came up with these articles:
- The Dogwood Crew’s Favorite Hamilton Songs
- Year in Infotainment 2020
- Hercules Mulligan: The Spy That Sews
- Preparing for Fall
Before Hamilton became a tv hit, it debuted on Broadway in August of 2015. While Hamilton was on Broadway the musical had a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations and 11 awards, including the Best Musical that year.
When Lin-Manuel wrote and played the lead character in Hamilton, he had already written another Broadway musical, In the Heights. It itself had 13 Tony nominations and 4 wins. Not too shabby at all.
One of the main differences between the movie musical for In the Heights that debuts on HBO Max June 11, 2021, is that it was rewritten and filmed as a movie. Hamilton on the other hand was a live stage performance filmed in its original format.
In the Heights is described by HBO Max as follows:
The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is a likable, magnetic bodega owner who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life. In the Heights fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.
Another fun thing to check out is how the original Broadway cast from 2007 faired when it comes to if they made it to the movie. Check out the list:
Christopher Jackson from Hamilton (he played George Washington) was a part of the original Broadway cast as Benny. In the movie version, he will be playing Mr.Softee.
Olga Merediz played the role of Abuela Claudia during the play’s entire Broadway run and she reprises her role in the film adaptation too!
Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to still be involved. After giving up the title role in the movie to Anthony Ramos of Hamilton fame (he played the dual role of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton), he’ll be playing Piraguero, the Piragua Guy.
Original Broadway cast member Seth Stewart (Graffiti Pete) also makes a cameo appearance too.
In addition to some shared actors, you’ll find a recognizable rhythm to it being a Lin-Manuel production. Songs such as “96,000” have a distinct feel reminiscent of when Phillip Hamilton strutted down the streets of New York in “Blow Us All Away” in Hamilton.
If you have HBO Max, add In the Heights to your list for this weekend. If you don’t have HBO Max, even after the Friends reunion a few weeks back – maybe now it’s finally time to cave and get it for yourself!
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