HEY Y?ALL, GOOD MORNING BROADWAY FANS! HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! Our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN continues with more breathtaking Broadway performances from the previous telecasts from Broadway?s biggest night. We are just 13 days away till the 72nd Annual Tony Awards.
At # 13 on our countdown is a unique show that changed the face of Broadway. It follows 3 days in the life of residents in one of New York?s most famous upper West Side neighborhoods?. Washington Heights. It featured an incredible blend of original Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, Soulful, and Latin music. If you think what we?re talking about, you guest correctly. This is In The Heights. The show features a breakout and debut score by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who also starred in the show) along with a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes.
From the 2008 telecast, Lin Manuel Miranda as ?Usnavi?, Tony nominee Christopher Jackson as ?Benny?, Tony nominee Robin De Jesus as ?Sonny?, Tony winner Karen Olivo as ?Vanessa?, and the rest of the original cast perform a medley of the show?s opening title song and the ultimate showstopper that brought down the house every night?.. 96,000.
IN THE HEIGHTS was first conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda (way long before his now worldwide smash hit Hamilton: An American Musical) in 1999 during his Sophomore year of college at Wesleyan University. Following seeing Rent and The Capeman on Broadway, he wanted to create his own show that takes place now mixing Latin, hip hop, and rap into one show. He was inspired my his family routes and living in Washington Heights. After a year of writing, the show got accepted into Wesleyan?s student Theater company called Second Stage (not related to the Broadway Theater company we know today) in the Spring of 2000. This 3 night only debut got the attention of fellow Wesleyan students consisting of John Buffalo Mailer, Neil Stewart, Anthony Veneziale, and Thomas Kail (who went on to direct the production). They wanted to expand the production and make it a full scale Broadway production. In addition, Quiara Alegria Hudes came on board as an additional book writer. 5 rough drafts of the production were made.
Following over 7 1/2 years of readings and workshops, the show had its world premiere Off Broadway in 2007 at 37 Arts Theatre (now Baryshnikov Arts Center) and the response from critics and the audience exploded.. From there, the show went on to Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre where it ran for 1,213 performances. The cast consisted of?.
Lin Manuel Miranda (later Javier Munoz, Corbin Bleu, and Kyle Beltran) as ?Usnavi?,
Christopher Jackson (later Clifton Oliver) as ?Benny?,
Robin De Jesus (later David Del Rio, Jon Rua, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett) as ?Sonny?,
Karen Olivo (later Marcy Harriell) as ?Vanessa?,
Seth Stewart (later William B. Wingfield) as ?Graffiti Pete?
Mandy Gonzalez (later Janet Decal, Jordin Sparks, and Arielle Jacobs) as ?Nina Rosario?,
Carlos Gomez (later Rick Negron) as ?Kevin Rosario?,
Tony winner Priscilla Lopez as ?Camila Rosario?,
Andrea Burns (later Bianca Marroquin) as ?Daniella?
Janet Decal (later Courtney Reed) as ?Carla?,
and Tony nominee Olga Merediz as ?Abuela Claudia?.
IN THE HEIGHTS was nominated for 13 Tony Awards in 2008 winning 4 including Best Musical. In addition, the show also went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre album.
From there, IN THE HEIGHTS has went on to present productions across America, London?s West End, Japan, Philippines, and around the world. The show is also currently being performed in Schools, Community, and Regional Theaters everywhere.
Most recently, it has just been announced that a long awaited film version of IN THE HEIGHTS is in the works. It will be produced by Warner Bros. No word has been made yet on when the film will be released, who will be part of the cast, or when will they start shooting?
Doesn?t this show make you want to get into that hip hop groove this Memorial Day weekend?
In The Height’s performance at the 2008 Tony Awards.
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