Friday, March 12, 2010

Heights reaches Broward Center

No, that title isn't backwards, and we're not talking like Yoda. While we can argue whether or not the Broward Center has reached new heights, the fact is that In The Heights is opening at the Broward Center next week. This show has extensive ties to South Florida, including actor Oscar Cheda and composer Alex Lacamoire.

The musical is this week's Stage Pick in The Miami Herald (which is odd, because you can't see it this week), and you can find the full history of the play at
In addition to winning the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, won the Tony Award for Best Music and Lyrics, Andy Blankenbuehler won for Best Choreography, and Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman won for Best Orchestrations. The original cast recording won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, and Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a feature film based on the smash hit musical.
-- BWW
EdgeMiami sits down with Kyle Beltran, who is playing the role Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and originated himself.
"It’s funny, Lin is a rapper by trade, but I am a singer/actor by trade. So it’s a bit weird for me in this role because Usnavi is not meant to be a singer. A lot of the time I had to pull back my desire to sing it, sing it, sing it, because he’s a speech-singer; but whenever you create a character, you start from scratch. You’re not playing yourself, you sing like the character sings. And Usnavi’s primary form of communication is rap -- through rhyme-versed. That is what comes most naturally to him and is what the role demands."
--Kyle Beltran, to Edge Miami
It's an extensive interview, interspersed with video clips - definitely a good peak behind the scenes of the show. In this clip you can see Lin-Manuel, Robin DeJesus, Karen Olivio, and Kyle Beltran, and the entire cast of the tour, including Oscar Cheda.

In the Heights opens Tuesday, March 16 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and runs through March 28.

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