The new episode of Bowery Boys Film club explore the new musical film In the heights and the fascinating historic quarter at its center. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon.
Lin Manuel MirandaBroadway’s first musical In the heights was a critical and box office success and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. And yet his success was overshadowed by Miranda’s second offer Hamilton: The Musical.
Now In the heights comes to the big screen – both in theaters and on HBO Max – bringing music, dance and some of the same stars. But it also introduces the neighborhood of Washington Heights himself in the spotlight.
Where the musical had only mere props, the film musical features the glorious sights and sounds of the heights themselves – from the George Washington Bridge at the tower of the High Bridge.
Washington Heights is as much an active character in In the heights as Uznavi (Anthony Ramos) and Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) are. In particular, the film sets up a common enemy lurking – gentrification – as the main antagonist, threatening to disintegrate the dynamic mixture of communities.
How specifically do Miranda and director John M. Chu bring the action and music to the streets? And how does the sincerity of a Broadway musical translate to a real city?
MORE: Greg and Tom recount their experiences of clashing on the set of In the heights while recording their Upper Manhattan podcast!
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Should you look the film before you Listen at this episode? This podcast can be enjoyed by both those who have seen the film and those who have never even heard of it.
We think our point of view aunt granny might inspire you to research the film’s many fascinating (but easy to overlook) historical details, so if you don’t mind being spoiled on the plot, give it a listen first, then watch the movie! Otherwise, return to the show after watching it.
After listening to this episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, relive the history of some of the locations featured in the film through some of our past shows: