Cinema of the Week: Musicals and Movies – In the Heights

Kristen Hines, Columnist •



Many people can categorize Musicals into two sections; the big famous ones that everyone knows, and the equally good but not as successful ones that have almost faded into obscurity.

And our Musical of the Week just happens to fall into the latter category.

The RoundHouse Theater in Olney, Maryland, all set to make a production of this show from September 6th to October 15th, let’s talk about ‘In the Heights’. Produced in 2008, ‘In the Heights’ was the first official musical made by Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash hit, ‘Hamilton’. It ran on Broadway from 2008 to 2011, and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, touching the hearts of thousands of audiences. The show runs on its colorful cast of characters, who all are going through their own problems in the small neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York.

The show is also unique in its own right, not just for its amazing blend of Latin-style music and modern-day rapping, but for its strong emphasis on Hispanic and immigrant culture. The show gives the audience a peek into the lives of those who came from far away and are just trying to live their lives to the fullest while fighting the oppression and struggles of America. The story arcs range from major decisions due to financial struggles to the pressures of making something of yourself, despite coming from a poor upbringing.

All these stories and the characters followed keep you invested by how down-to-earth and relatable they are. Unfortunately, after it’s run, ‘In the Heights’ has become a musical name that not many know when compared to giant productions like ‘Wicked’ or ‘The Lion King’, but it has developed quite a cult following, thanks to ‘Hamilton’ and Lin Manuel Miranda’s fame.

So, if you’re looking for a new album of show tunes to groove out to in your car or house, ‘In the Heights’ is definitely a soundtrack you want to sink your teeth into.   


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