Lin-Manuel Miranda says he began writing the musical, In the Heights, when he as a nineteen-year-old college student. After a couple of friends from Wesleyan University offered to help produce the show, Miranda took his idea first to a regional theater in Connecticut, and ultimately to Broadway, where in 2008, it won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As most people know, a few years later, Lin-Manuel wrote the musical, Hamilton, which also won the Tony Award for best musical and is widely considered one of the greatest musicals ever produced. Warner Bros paid $50 Million for the film rights to In the Heights. Warner immediately hired Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) to direct the film. It is expected to open in theaters in June of 2020.
I first saw the musical on Broadway the year after it opened. It was fun to see Broadway musical with an all-Latino cast, and gratifying to witness its financial success. The story is set in Washington Heights, a mostly Latino neighborhood in New York City. In the Heights is loaded with cultural gems and addresses the challenges and beauty of life in the barrio. Miranda’s music is prolific and the story is uplifting.
One of the reasons we created L’ATTITUDE was to help change the narrative about Latinos in America. The media plays a huge role in that effort. Despite the fact Latinos purchase more movie tickets per capita than any other demographic, it is a rare occasion when there is a major film or television project with positive Latino characters in lead roles. If there was ever a film project for the Latino community to get behind, In the Heights might be it. Lin-Manuel Miranda has emerged as America’s premier historian, narrator and storyteller. I’m hoping the idea he first conceived as a college freshman becomes a Hollywood blockbuster.
Warner Bros released the first trailer for In the Heights this past week. If it doesn’t give you goosebumps, you might not be alive. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0CL-ZSuCrQ&feature=youtu.be
About a year ago, I was convinced by some of my closest friends that I should do a podcast. Today it seems like everyone has a podcast, and frankly, 99% of them aren’t very good. I wasn’t sure I could do much better, but I realized I do have some ideas that some people have found interesting in the past.
The decision to invite President Barack Obama to the NAHREP Policy Conference last Spring was a decision I made with the NAHREP National Board. Anytime we have a political figure of that stature at one of our events, we know it will stimulate a lot of buzz among our members and stakeholders.
L’ATTITUDE 2022 is less than two weeks away. This year’s event includes a concert at Rady Shell; the coolest new concert venue in America according to Forbes magazine. The concert is in partnership with La Musica, and will feature music superstars, Juanes and Farukko.