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04/19/2007


A 'Bring It On' Rave

Bringiton

Hey, folks. This is just a personal recommendation (actually, pretty much a rave) from me. Over the weekend I was able to catch Bring It On on Broadway. I brought my mom and my 12-year-old niece, and I have to say I was blown away by the whole production. For many of the cast, this is a Broadway debut, and there is so much energy and talent here.

BioIt's inspired by but not based directly on the film of the same name and is full of acrobatic cheerleading stunts and upbeat musical numbers but at its heart is a show about inclusion, diversity, and acceptance.

Jeff Whitty, a friend, wrote the libretto. You may know him as one of the Tony Award-winning comic geniuses behind Avenue Q. Also involved are Tony Winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) and Tom Kitt (Next to Normal). I can see each of their marks on it.

Go see it.

Watch a brief montage from the show, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A 'Bring It On' Rave" »


>> An Interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda
Creator and Star of the Off-Broadway Hit In the Heights

Intheheights

Linmanuel_mirandaLast week, Towleroad correspondent Josh Helmin sat down with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the 27-year-old creator and star of the new hit Off-Broadway musical In the Heights. Set in the northern Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights over one fateful Fourth of July weekend, Heights follows the trajectory of two love stories and the results of one lucky lottery ticket. With some of the most thoughtful lyrics that New York has heard since Avenue Q (according to New York magazine), energetic performances, inspired choreography and costuming, In the Heights is a sexy, fresh, funny, and moving addition to the musical theater canon. Amid the seats at 37 Arts Theater in midtown Manhattan, where In the Heights is currently playing, Miranda (who is straight) talked  to Josh about the show's gay plotline that was written out, the future of the American musical, and the seven-year journey to Off-Broadway — that may just lead to the Tonys.

What would you say is the essence of In the Heights? What's it really about?

I think the show is about home, and I know that's the corniest thing in the world, but I grew up here [in New York], my parents were born in Puerto Rico, but I didn't know what I was supposed to do here. I had heard about Puerto Rico as this paradise and I spent every summer there. I was like, 'Am I supposed to be here, am I supposed to be there, and if I'm supposed to be here am I really Puerto Rican?' Where's home is really the big ol' question, I think.

So you're the creator of the show. This is your baby. Take me back to your undergraduate years when you wrote In the Heights.

Intheheights_2I had been doodling In the Heights in all my notebooks in college. I had written a song or two [and] I applied for the student-run theater space at Wesleyan [University]. That winter break I locked myself up and wrote everything I knew about. I grew up in Inwood, but I wanted to write about Washington Heights, this really dynamic landscape, and I grew up in the neighborhood. The music was very Washington Heights—it was salsa, merengue, hip-hop, and all that stuff that's still in the show—but [originally] it was not so much about the community as it was about a love triangle. It was this tortured love story. Nina had a brother named Lincoln [who] was closeted and in love with Benny [who was Lincoln's best friend and in love with Nina]. It was a totally different show. The show was a huge hit [at Wesleyan University], mainly because I was one of the only Latino theater majors at Wesleyan, so to get my cast I had to go all over campus. I got people from the Latino Program House, from the gospel choir, so everyone had a friend in the show and the whole campus came. It was an original musical my sophomore year.

Continue reading ">> An Interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda
Creator and Star of the Off-Broadway Hit In the Heights" »


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