Friday, November 14, 2008

" Lights Up on Washington Heights Up at the Break a day. . . "- Usnavi

OK so my Broadway blogs have never been very popular, so I just wanna warn you now this blog is all about my new favorite musical. . . . .you may turn back now if you wish!
I recently downloaded the original Broadway cast recording of "In The Heights" The Tony's choice for Best Musical this year. After watching their performance on the Tony's this summer, I had a feeling it'd be a good one, and boy was I not disappointed! In fact my only regret is not downloading it sooner.

I got this little blurb from Wikipedia, just to give you little background

In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The story explores three days in the characters' lives in the New York City Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights. The score features hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music.

The main character's name is Usnavi played by Lin-Manuel Miranda (the composer and lyricist) who's parents migrated from the Dominican Republic and supposedly named him after the name of the first boat they saw upon arrival on the American shores. (You find out later that it was actually a U.S. Navy boat they saw. . . funny right?) Usnavi parents died when he was young and so he was raised by a woman he calls Abuela (Grandmother) but is not his actual Grandmother, he runs a Bodega with his annoying cousin Ronnie, and sells coffee and papers to the neighborhood. Usnavi wants two things, to someday return to the DR and a local girl named Vanessa who is apparently the catch of the neighborhood. Vanessa plans are a bit different she dreams of someday getting the heck outta dodge and being somebody. Then there's Benny who is the only African American in the predominately Latino community. Benny's in love with Nena. Nena is the Golden child of Washington heights, she is the first to go a way to College, Stanford to be exact but ends up feeling out of place and drops out, much to the disappointment of her friends and family. The story's centered around the fact that Usnavi's Bodega sold the winning lottery ticket for $96,000. I don't wanna give away too much, but you get the general idea. Wikipedia has a pretty sweet play by play if you're interested.

Here's the link

What makes this musical great in my book is the fusion of good old Latin beats and instrumentation mixed with a lotta hip hop in fact it's the first Broadway show I've heard of that features a main character that only Raps I think he sings maybe once. . . pretty groundbreaking eh? This is defiantly not your Mother's musical.

Here's my top 5 Favorite songs from "In The Heights"


This is kind of Nena's lament song. She is on her way to break the news to the family about her failure's at Stanford and is reminded of how everyone thought she was really going places, and how she feels horrible for not living up to their expectations. . . . You can totally relate to this song if you've ever felt like you've been a disappointment.

Won't Be Long-

This is Vanessa's someday I'm gonna bust outta here song! She talks about how the sounds of turbo engines on the planes don't bother her anymore because they are just a reminder of how she's gonna be on one someday. I love a good dreamer song!


I really love it when people have a song conversation, I wish we could do that in real life! This song is reminiscent of "Light My Candle" from Rent. The song could easily just be another spoken scene, but for some reason putting it to song makes it so much more awesome to me! Also what makes this song entertaining is Vanessa's trying to have a serious conversation about her feelings for Usnavi, and he's struggling to open the champagne bottle she bought for them. This is like the moment he's been waiting for the whole show, and all he's concerned about is figuring out how to get the gold foil off. I just think that's funny


This song makes me cry. . . .I won't say why, so I don't spoil the show, but it's tender trust me!

My most favorite is. . . .


This is the song that lured me in, in the first place, this is the song they chose to perform on the Tony's. I love it mainly because not only is the guy that plays Benny super adorable, but his voice is amazing.

And don't you worry I posted the video of that performance, in hopes you all will get hooked like me! Sorry it's one of those super lame recordings on the TV, it's the only one I could find. . . . all the same please enjoy!

AMAZING! This show better not be like Legally Blonde and tour everywhere but here! I may have to wait two years to see it, but I'll see it! I don't care if I have to walk to Seattle!

Hope you enjoyed this!

P.S. Nette and Michelle your copies have already been made! Wink Wink


T.Allen-Mercado said...

Sounds interesting. These can be disappointing or spot on for me as a New Yorker. Rent! is certainly unrivaled in its accurate depiction of the LES and the underground art scene. I'll have to see this one and let you know what I think. If you like Latin music, I'd be happy to send you some, I danced competitively for 17years, Afro-Cuban Jazz and Mambo (Salsa) to be exact!

Lacey Vee said...

That was AMAZING...In love with it and now I want the soundtrack. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's why I love ya Em! You rock and are my broadway (er off broadway) buddy!

Kimmy said...

Loved the clip! I think I'm going to have to listen to more.