Fans are ecstatic as the day nears when "In the Heights" is available to stream on HBO Max and in theatres. The hit Broadway production will be airing on June 10 for viewers nationwide.
"In the Heights" tells the story of a local bodega owner living on the beloved block of Washington Heights. Through the power of music, Lin-Manuel Miranda tells the story of a man with a dream alongside the rest of his community members. This film shows the power of love, community and reaching for your dreams.
Warner Bros. put on a college press roundtable with Lin-Manuel Miranda (starred and produced), Quiara Alegría Hudes (screenplay) and numerous cast members who all gave insight into various aspects of the film on May 24.
Interviewees touched on all the moving parts that made the film not only possible but successful. This includes but is not limited to dance boot camp, table reads, casting and rehearsals to practice with lines, songs, dance numbers, etc.
Major differences between the original Broadway production and the film were also discussed during the roundtable.
Numerous songs and scenes were taken out or altered for the on-screen version due to time. Hudes said the team knew that they would have to remove some songs for story focus and length.
"It was not always easy, it was a little bit of a process of trial and error which is why it takes decades to write this stuff as opposed to four or five months," Hudes said. "For instance, for the song Atención, you can see the community visually mourning on a movie theatre screen in a way that you can not see it, but need to hear it sung on stage."
Miranda shared that although scenes and songs were taken out, they were shown in different ways within the on-screen version.
"We were always finding ways to use the musical fabric that we as fans of the show love and associate with always telling the story sometimes in the foreground and sometimes in the background," Miranda said.
The film surrounds and highlights the tight knit community of Latinx individuals. Many cast members are a part of this community as well. With that being said, Latinx viewers are able to resonate with the film in a way other viewers can not, and make personal connections to these characters.
"I really hope that the Latinx community walks away from the film feeling the authenticity that we tried to put into the film and walk away feeling respected and proud to be who they are," actor Gregory Diaz IV said.
Unique from other cast members, Olga Merediz (Abuela Claudia) played her role in both the film and original Broadway production.
"As an artist, when you do a project, you give it your heart and soul and then when you are done, you kind of close that trunk and you move on," Merediz said. "I had to go back to that time where I played Abuela Claudia on Broadway...but it all came back to me. It is a very emotional character for me...it was a gift playing her on Broadway."
For Miranda, the impulse to write this particular story began as a sophomore in college because he loves musicals.
"I loved West Side Story. West Side Story is a masterpiece of musical theater which in no way refelcts my lived experience cause I didn't grow up in the '50s, but I wanted to write what I saw was missing and something closer to my own experince," Miranda said.
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