Read of the Week: In the Heights

If you love the musical, do you see the movie?

It’s a question akin to: if you loved the book, do you see the movie? I learned this week through a piece in Vox that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, “In the Heights” is coming to the big screen this summer, thanks to director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians).

I saw a production of “In the Heights” a few years ago at Ithaca’s Hanger Theater, which has a great summer season. While I’m still not sure I’ll see the movie this summer, Constance Grady’s Vox article, “In the Heights, Explained” filled me in on this musical’s fascinating backstory and reminded me that 2021 comes with a full summer theater season.

In the article, Grady narrates 10+-year evolution of “In the Heights” from undergraduate production to Broadway to Tony/Pulitzer/Grammy wins and status as “the first musical of the Barack Obama era.” It also points out how much Miranda, (creator of “Hamilton,” need I say more?) has influenced musical theater. “It’s hard to overstate how white Broadway was in 2008,” Grady writes. And 2008 was not that long ago.

This piece also puts me in the mood for summer theater—which will happen in Ithaca this year. The Hanger has a full summer schedule at a new outdoor stage on its property. The Kitchen Theater is offering outdoor productions, as well, starting with “Shape,” staged in Washington Park this month.  

BONUS: Videos of “In the Heights” Broadway opening night! Now I really want to go see a show …