Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Musical ‘In the Heights’ Debuts Before ‘Hamilton’
In The Heights is now available in theaters and on HBO Max after a year of waiting, but its path to the big screen has taken more than a decade.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s next musical venture follows his success as the writer and actor of Hamilton, as well as providing music for Disney’s Moana and participating in Mary Poppins Returns.
Many people believe Hamilton was Miranda’s first taste of fame, but it was actually this most recent film that launched him on the path to international musical glory.
In The Heights was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda when?
In The Heights was initially performed on stage in Waterford, Connecticut in 2005, however Miranda claims he began writing the musical’s script during his sophomore year of college.
“In the winter of 1999, I applied to put up a new production in the student-run ’92 Theater,” Miranda said in a self-penned article for Broadway Buzz titled “Scaling The Heights.” I just had one song and a title at the time: In the Heights. I didn’t get much sleep or eat; all I did was write.
“I threw in all the stuff I’d always wanted to see onstage: fast-paced freestyle rap moments outside of bodegas, and character-driven dance dances. He explained, “I tried to write the kind of show I’d like to be in.”
In the Heights was the title of a song I had written. I didn’t get much sleep or eat; all I did was write.
Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about how he came up with the idea for In The Heights in 1999.
After a few adjustments, additions, and rewrites, In The Heights had its Broadway debut in 2007. It was a huge success for the debuting writer, being nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four including Best Musical and Best Original Score for Miranda. It also bagged Miranda his first Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. At this stage in his career Miranda was just 28 years old.
Miranda initially led the cast of In The Heights, playing the role of Usnavi de la Vega from 2007 to 2009. It was around this time that he read Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, which eventually inspired Miranda to write the script and music for what would become Hamilton.
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