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In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That’s where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong? In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize–winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights. Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world. This is the story of characters who search for a home—and the artists who created one.


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In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That’s where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong? In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize–winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights. Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world. This is the story of characters who search for a home—and the artists who created one.

30 review for In the Heights: Finding Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    REVIEW: You guys know I always go above and beyond when it comes to reviewing books like these and so, like usual, I literally went through all of my notes and wrote down every single piece of interesting information that this coffee table book taught me. You're welcome! (It's hella loong, so brace yourselves!) • the stage (on Broadway) looked so fucking cool … I love the GWB in the background and all the different shops … so well done! • for the Wesleyan production of In The Heights (basically t REVIEW: You guys know I always go above and beyond when it comes to reviewing books like these and so, like usual, I literally went through all of my notes and wrote down every single piece of interesting information that this coffee table book taught me. You're welcome! (It's hella loong, so brace yourselves!) • the stage (on Broadway) looked so fucking cool … I love the GWB in the background and all the different shops … so well done! • for the Wesleyan production of In The Heights (basically the version of the show Lin developed in his early twenties during his college years) he HAND-WROTE the sheet music??? • “almost anytime you hear Spanish in the show, a translation is right around the corner” • they stratified the generations accordingly: Usnavi and Sonny, the youngest characters, are from D.R. (surge in Dominican immigration in the 70s), Kevin is from P.R. (Puero Ricans came in the 50s), and the oldest character Abuela Claudia is from Cuba (Cubans came to the Heights in the 40s) • LMM: “Once, when an audience member pulled out an enormous camera to illegally film, I modified this lyric on the fly: “You better put that away, they might eject ya later.” (original line: “I hope you’re writing this down, I’m gonna test ya later.” • they’re named Rosario because it rhymes with “barrio” (no other reason lmao) • Camila being taken out of the movie … I cannot !!! Her song ENOUGH is one of my favorites now! • The line “En Washington Heights” is literally the only five notes and lyrics that survive from the Wesleyan version to the present => EVERYTHING ELSE WAS CHANGED!!! • birth of musical theatre: in 1866, a theatre burned down which forced its dancers to go onstage at a different theatre which resulted in the fusion of acting, singing and dancing • LMM talking about how he met Tommy (Kail) in 2002 in the basement of the Drama Bookshop and immediately "locked in” with him … they’ve been working together ever since … I AM EMO !!! Same for Lac (Alex Lacamoire) and Andy Blankenbuehler (= the CABINET … the four would later go on to make Hamilton as ICONIC as it is!!!! They all met for HEIGHTS!!!) • “Breathe” took him YEARS to write • Chris Jackson auditioned in the basement of the shop and was hella skeptical at first lmao … he ended up meeting his future wife (who played Nina) on the show … their first kiss was a kiss on stage - I AM SOBBING!! • in early versions, Benny picks Nina up from the airport — would’ve loved to see that • Nina rhymes with herself during “Benny’s dispatch” (I NEVER NOTICED THAT): Benny, hey - Anyway AND Any sing - Any time • LMM: “There are no double decker buses this far uptown. So I assumed the existence of one would instantly cause a calamity.” LMAO (about the lyric: “there’s a double-decker bus wreck …) • “Button” is the musical theatre term for the bump at the end of a song to let the audience know when it's time to applaud • Chita Rivera saw Heights on Broadway and LMM and Quiara watched her during “It Won't Be Long” where her name is dropped … she was grinning and elbowing her daughter - WHY IS THIS SO PURE??? • at first, Nina had a closeted gay brother named Lincoln … he was cut by the producers due to similarities to Rent … Nina inherited a lot of traits from him though (like her fear of disappointing her father) • “Cabrona” literally means “You bitch” - I DID NOT KNOWWWW • Quiara: after they cut Nina, they decided to make Dani and Carla a couple, to have at least one fully intact family in the movie • For his opening night (off broadway) gift, Tommy would give Lin a bag of buttons: “Because it felt like none of our numbers ended.” - LMAO • Why 96,000? It’s not enough to change your life forever but enough to dream! - that makes so much sense!! • LMM wanted 96,000 to feel as if the characters were making up lines on the stop (fantasizing about what they’ll do with the money) and I think he really achieved that • during Paciencia y Fe four members sang backup vocals for Olga, since there was so little space, they had to stand in a huddle every night during that section of the song • HEIGHTS, unlike most musicals, has no villains, it’s the story of a community!!!! And that’s fucking beautiful • 2005. After his first date with Vanessa Nadal, Lin was finally able to get WHEN YOU’RE HOME right … I AM SOBBING! • “Maybe it’s just me …” - LMM: “I love Benny’s uncertainty here … and INTO SOME FAST LYRICS I LOVE YOU HAHAHA NEVER MIND KEEP MOVING” • before Broadway: everyone felt Act 2 had become really really glum - BITCH IT STILL IS .. it’s in Lin’s DNA to make act 2 as depressing as possible • Chris Jackson prayed with the cast every night before curtains opened • Lac loosing it during the FINALE at their opening night on Broadway as he saw that Lin was singing through tears as well .. BESH I AM SOBBING! Lac: “In that moment, it all hit me: Oh my God, we made it! • Lin at the end of the opening night on Broadway: “Ay Mama, what do you when your dreams come true?” - I AM TEARS AGAIN • On BLACKOUT: LMM: “Off-Broadway we had to institute a $1 fine for anyone who sang ‘En Washington Heights’ ahead of Alex’s clue. It happened a lot.” • Lin’s freestyle after Heights closed on Broadway (after over 1,100 shows): “I know how upset some of ya’ll are getting / But listen, In the Heights ain’t closing, this is spreading.” - I AM TEARS, AGAIN! • LMM: “Heaven hath no joy like a student matinee where two characters emerge from a fire escape, half-clothes, the morning after, and one says, “Are you ready to try again?” The screams! We had to add measures of music to accommodate the scandalised youth screams.” (on SUNRISE) • Jon Chu gave Lin the final cut on the movie • for the movie: instead of catering every meal, they encouraged actors and crew to buy lunch in the area (they filmed in Washington Heights) • CARNAVAL is unique in requiring virtually every member of the cast to be present at the same time ... and they filmed that ishh in a DAYYY... during that shoot, Lin was harmonising with himself (as he played Piragua guy in the movie and they had to use the Original Cast Recording for the shoot as Anthony hadn’t sung in his vocals as Usnavi yet) • On ALABANZA: LMM: “I wrote a killer song for this moment called “The Day Goes By”. I want it played at my funeral.” - HOLY SHIT I NEED TO HEAR THIS! • LMM: “HAMILTON is like, we were on this wave together and we survived it. But it’s not family. I stall call HEIGHTS people the way I call my family—my for-real family.” - DANG • Sonny is the only character without a solo song • Lin and Bill crying in the recording studio as Melissa was singing It Won’t Be Long Now (her version now had stringssss) • Leslie (actress who plays Nina) was the last person to have to shoot something for the movie, it was the end of Breathe, where she is looking towards the GWB singing “Gee, Nina, what’ll you be?” … all the other actors came to support her, during one take she choked up really badly, Jon Chu chose that one for the movie • CHAMPAGNE: Quiara came up with the idea: Vanessa saying “First one out of the hood gets a bottle of champagne” - IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW • Shaun Taylor-Corbett (Lin’s understudy) once took his job of trying to open the champagne so seriously, that the cork came flying and champagne went everywhere on the stage - I WOULD’VE DIED TO SEE THIS MOMENT • WHEN THE SONG GOES DOWN: LMM: “This song is a Rorschach test: For Quiara, who married her high school sweetheart, Benny and Nina survive as a couple. For me, it’s a breakup song.” - I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH LIN, that’s why I find it so heartbreaking … Lin also says that he wrote it for his ex-girlfriend (the initial impulse to write Heights came when she left him to study abroad … everything came full circle) • In The Heights celebrates the people who choose to stay, it rejoices in the ties that endure among neighbours in the face of gentrification and other, more powerful erasers. • Doreen (who is the recorded Bolero singer at the beginning of FINALE) passed away suddenly in 2020: LMM: “I am so grateful that her voice lives on in the film. To quote Claudia: ‘The scratch in the record is my favorite part.’” — I AM SOBBING • LMM: “The finale to this show came to me in the exact same way as the finale to Hamilton: waking up at four AM on the final morning on a workshop full of actors who are waiting for the last song, which they are to perform for an audience that day.” • Usnavi getting choked up after saying “Sonny” … being unable to say “I love you” and just getting out the words “All right, go!” => I didn’t get that in the movie and it’s now my favorite moment of the show !!!! UPDATE: I SAW THE MOVIE. IT WAS SO GOOD. BASICALLY CRIED THROUGH THE ENTIRE SECOND ACT. But whatever ... I saw enough through the tears. Will def watch it a second time in cinema, once I got all the songs down!!! FIRST REACTIONS TO HE SONGS: OKAY OKAY !!!! WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME THAT IN THE HEIGHTS IS ALREADY IN CINEMAS IN GERMANY????? I AM FREAAKING OUT!!! I'M GOING TO WATCH IT ON MONDAY (OR TUESDAY)!!!! AND I'M NOW GOING TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN ALL OF THE SOOOONGS ... but bitch I am already sooooo obsessed???? HAMILTON has lived in my head rent free for the past five (or has it already been six???) years and I've only listened to three songs from IN THE HEIGHTS as of right now (gonna take my sweet ass time going through the soundtrack BECAUSE BESH I NEED TO REMEMBER LYRICS, I need to feel the spirit of every song, so imma listen to each song for at least 20 times before moving on to the next one) AND IN THE HEIGHTS IS ALREADY BETTER (???) THAN HAMILTON????????? Lin's power??? UNMATCHED!!!! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW RIDICUOUSLY HAPPY I AM RIGHT NOW! I haven't felt this energized in months. I HAVE A NEW OBSESSION!!! Gonna keep you updated as I move through the songs: #1 IN THE HEIGHTS - what an opening ... I was already obsessed with it in the trailer but seeing the full 8 minutes was a religious experience. I LITERALLY LOVE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING!!! The little snippet of Graffitti Pete in the beginning, Lin playing piragüero and greeting Anthony (BASICALLY PASSING OVER THE TORCH ... I AM ALREADY SOBBING) ... ANTHONY ANTHONY ANTHONY! When he looks directly into the camera and says "Hey, ya'll. Good morning!" I SCREAMED!!! HIS VOICE. HIS EYES! I AM DEAD!!!!! Also, Benny and Sonny already have my heart. Benny's energy is what I need in my life right now!!!!!! ALSO, VANESSA'S INTRODUCTION ... I am intrigued!! I already love the chemistry between her and Usnavi!!! And also love to see the love Lin has for his community and neighborhood, all the PR and DR love, man, it's beautiful to seeeeeeee! 10/10 #2 BENNY'S DISPATCH - instantly became my favorite soooong (I only listened to three and they were all 10/10 but whatever, I HAVE THIS ONE ON REPEAT). IT'S REALLY JUST GOOD VIBES ONLY, MAN! It makes me smile, it makes me dance. AND IT'S ALSO SOOOO GODDAMN SWEET! I mean, one song and I am already soooo INVESTED into Benny and Nina's relationship. I NEED THESE TWO TO END UP TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10/10 #3 BREATHE - tbh it took me a few listens to get into the song but now I am obsessed, I relate to Nina so much and it makes me cry. You can hear the uncertainty and fear in her voice. She is so vulnerable, and so upset with herself, not only feeling like a disappointment but like she let everyone down, her family, her community, the people who wanted big and good things for her. Leslie's voice is beautiful and fits the sooooong soooo well! I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IT ON THE BIG SCREEEN!!!! 10/10 Can't wait to keep listening to the soundtrack, the only other bit I know (as of right now) is the part "don’t make me laugh I’ve been trying all night you’ve been shaking ya ass for like haffa da heights" which was huge on TikTok ... and I'm already soooo obsessed with it??? Like, as of right now, I cannot decide whether I like Usnavi+Vanessa or Benny+Nina more. BOTH ARE SOOOOO PROMISING!!!!!!!!! It's been two (or three??) days and I finally found the time to update, you guys: #4 NO ME DIGA - It's fun, it's catchy ... but it isn't really my thing. I listened to it a couple of times but it isn't really doing anything for me ... I love the salon ladies and their gossipping (I mean "Usnavi had sex with Yolanda" and "I hear plenty" are two ICONIC lines) but as of right now it's not a song that I revisit too often. Even though I find it impressive how well the mood shifts (from fun to serious ("I dropped out.") back to fun again at the end) are handled. Also, the dick jokes were actually kinda funny and Nina's "oookaay... I don't wanna know where you heard all that" is such a mood. 6/10 #5 BLACKOUT - OKAY I'LL ADMIT IT!!! I COULDN'T LISTEN TO THE SONGS IN THEIR CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER ... I HAD TO LISTEN TO BLACKOUT FIRST AND I AM OBSESSED!!! IT'S MY NEW FAVORITE SONG FROM THE SHOW. It's sooo frantic, and catchy. It has so many amazing lines. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. The beginning is already sooooooo great, I scream BLACKOUT BLACKOUT all the time. Then when they hit us with "Somebody better open these goddamn doors!" followed by Vanessa's "I CAN'T FIND USNAVIIII" ... I feel like I'm already outta my goddamn mind. IT'S SO AMAZING???? AND I'M SO STRESSED?? Then Sonny's dialogue with Graffiti Pete (???) is just a banger: "You know what we gotta do?" – "Illuminate the community" AND "Give me a light, 'till the power comes" – "Back up! Back up! Back up!" are my favorite lines from them. THEN THE CHORUS LOOK AT THE FIREWORKS, LIKE YAAAS I AM HERE. And when everyone is singing through each other, my favorite lines are from Carla: "oh god, so much panic! the crowd is manic, with everybody screaming and shoving and shouting and slapping etc." – that's the part I always sing along to. AND THEN OF COURSE (!!!!!) THE BEST DIALOGUE IN THE ENTIRE SHOW. Vanessa's and Usnavi's fight is A.MA.ZINGGGGGGGG. Vanessa is soooo fucking dramatic (YOU ABANDONED ME) ... like besh, calm down?? but I'm also here for it. AND THEN USNAVI HITTING HER WITH THE INFAMOUS "Don't make me laugh, I've been trying all night / You've been shaking your ass for like half of the Heights" – MY WIG FLEWWWW. But their whole fight is sooo melodic and the two complement each other so well in what they're saying ... IT IS EVERYTHINGGGG. I aam just obsessed. 10/10 #6 96,000 - THIS SONG HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL TO BECOME ANOTHER FAVORITE. It's hella catchy and it has a bit of a Hamilton-vibe (even more so than some of the other songs, wouldn't you agree???). For some reason, the movie soundtrack recording feels a bit low energy for me but I've heard that the scene in the movie is amazing so I can't wait to watch that (I'm going to watch the movie tomorrow). And also, this flash mob in LA from 2010 (which was staged for Lin when the show first opened there) already convinced that this is supposed to be a HIGH ENERGY song ... so I think I just need the visuals to fully appreciate it. And again, Sonny is stealing his way into my heart. He's just the best!! 8/10 #7 IT WON'T BE LONG NOW - took me a couple of listens before I started to dig it ... mainly because Usnavi's date set up with Vanessa isn't part of the song recording in the movie, so that part is missing ... and I first I didn't get why Usnavi was "interrupting" Vanessa's song and was freaking out so much lmao. But listening to and seeing the original cast performing that song (e.g. here and here) made the song much more approachable. Usnavi's excitement after Vanessa accepts the date invite is definitely my favorite part of that song. But in terms of introducing a character, this song isn't nearly as good as BREATHE (to me). 8/10 UPGRADE TO 10/10 after seeing the movie. THE ENERGY WAS THERE. YES! ALSO, EXCITINGLY!!! I ALREADY GOT MY COPY OF THE BOOK ("In the Heights: Finding Home") and damn, it is just as good as Hamilton: The Revolution. It's so well written and has so many interesting insights. Can't wait to share them with you all (but imma do that another day... I have some listening to do now!). :D

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I actually saw In the Heights in an actual theater last week! And loved it, the feel-good film of the summer. I have taught the play and used clips from You Tube where you can find all the songs from the original, Tony-award-winning musical by Miranda in 2008. As you can imagine, it took many years before 2008 for a Broadway outsider to get his musical staged, with many obstacles, and now it has taken thirteen years to get the film made. But from where I was sitting in the theater, it was well w I actually saw In the Heights in an actual theater last week! And loved it, the feel-good film of the summer. I have taught the play and used clips from You Tube where you can find all the songs from the original, Tony-award-winning musical by Miranda in 2008. As you can imagine, it took many years before 2008 for a Broadway outsider to get his musical staged, with many obstacles, and now it has taken thirteen years to get the film made. But from where I was sitting in the theater, it was well worth waiting for, with great Washington Heights footage, terrific happy dance numbers. This book is a film/play book for fans who love MIranda and the play/film. I am not going to claim I read ever word of this celebratory, also-feel-good book, but I did look at all the photographs from the original production where Miranda played Usnavi and won Tonys for Best Musical, Best Score and more. Fun book that is making the rounds at my house, as we listen to the soundtrack. I defy you not to enjoy the film, I dare you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    I GENUINELY THINK IVE NEEDED THIS FOR YEARS

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Let me just say first off that both the stage musical (I saw a traveling production several years ago) and movie version of In the Heights are fabulous and that I think Lin-Manual Miranda (along with his compatriots on this project) is a complete genius. I definitely want to see the movie a second time. I truly loved it. Two things would likely have gotten me to 4 stars on this audiobook: if I had listened to the Broadway soundtrack independently a few times (and studied the lyrics), and if I’d s Let me just say first off that both the stage musical (I saw a traveling production several years ago) and movie version of In the Heights are fabulous and that I think Lin-Manual Miranda (along with his compatriots on this project) is a complete genius. I definitely want to see the movie a second time. I truly loved it. Two things would likely have gotten me to 4 stars on this audiobook: if I had listened to the Broadway soundtrack independently a few times (and studied the lyrics), and if I’d seen the movie from anywhere other than the neck-straining front row of the theater. Since I don’t feel I know the show that well, the references to all the many songs and characters did not always resonate. My major criticism (keeping this from being a 5 star book if I had known the musical better) is that it came off as a lot of inside stories, jokes, etc. that will appeal mostly to people who were involved in the various productions. In other words, a whole lot of “you had to be there” where my mind would wander as I listened. You know how you’re in a social situation and everyone else but you have a shared experience and get going on stories about it? After a while you feel left out and bored? This book was like that for me at times. Also, the whole “I-know-it’s-a-cliché-about-being-a-family-but-we-REALLY-WERE-a-family!!!” schtick got repetitive and fell flat for me. Yes, the book and the show are about community and home and I get it and it’s great. But. I know it must have been amazing to experience this production and then write a book about it, but unless you are a fanatic fan and know the musical inside and out, I’m not sure you will relate/love it. I could be wrong! The writing was flawless, it was well put together, and the narration, especially Miranda, was all terrific and often enjoyable. There was just too much unfamiliarity on my part to be completely immersed in this audiobook. I did find the last portion about movie release delays due to Covid-19 very interesting, as it gave a good flavor for the spring 2020 atmosphere in NYC and how those employed in the arts were devastated.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Any book about a Lin-Manuel Miranda project is a winner! This is a joyful celebration of a wonderful play and movie. Don't miss it, it will make you SO very happy. Any book about a Lin-Manuel Miranda project is a winner! This is a joyful celebration of a wonderful play and movie. Don't miss it, it will make you SO very happy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ella Grace

    "Yeah, I'm a streetlight, chokin' on the heat The world spins around while I'm frozen to my seat The people that I know all keep on rollin' down the street But every day is different so I'm switchin' up the beat 'Cause my parents came with nothing, they got a little more And sure, we're poor, but yo, at least we got the store And it's all about the legacy they left with me, it's destiny And one day I'll be on a beach with Sonny writing checks to me In the Heights, I hang my flag up on display We came to "Yeah, I'm a streetlight, chokin' on the heat The world spins around while I'm frozen to my seat The people that I know all keep on rollin' down the street But every day is different so I'm switchin' up the beat 'Cause my parents came with nothing, they got a little more And sure, we're poor, but yo, at least we got the store And it's all about the legacy they left with me, it's destiny And one day I'll be on a beach with Sonny writing checks to me In the Heights, I hang my flag up on display We came to work and to live and we got a lot in common It reminds me that I came from miles away" I can't help but cry every time I listen to this. I cry knowing what this means to others. I cry for what this means to me, how I connect to these characters through universal struggle and hope although their lives are different than mine. Ironically, this isn't a particularly sad story, just full to the brim with emotion. Joy. Sadness. Anger. Love. Hope. Praise. In the Heights demonstrates how a community comes together which is especially powerful after we have all felt so disconnected from our communities as of late. The hope in these lyrics is a shining light for our times. Reading the lyrics with Lin's commentary was a delight as well as learning more about the history of the show. "Yeah, I'm a streetlight Chilling in the heat I illuminate the stories of the people in the street Some have happy endings Some are bittersweet But I know them all And that's what makes my life complete (we're home) And if not me, who keeps our legacy? Who's gonna keep the coffee sweet with secret recipes Abuela, rest in peace You live in my memories But Sonny's gotta eat This corner is my destiny (we're home) The hydrants are open, cool breezes blow It's a wonderful life that I've known Merry Christmas, you ole' Building and Loan I'm home!"

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I really like In The Heights, both the musical and the movie, but I was surprised at how emotional reading this made me. It's basically like Hamilton: The Revolution but for In The Heights, so--an annotated libretto + photos and essays about the making of, in this case both the musical and the movie. It's so clear how passionate everyone involved was about this and what a meaningful experience it was--everyone quoted talks about how special it was to be with this show where they weren't "the onl I really like In The Heights, both the musical and the movie, but I was surprised at how emotional reading this made me. It's basically like Hamilton: The Revolution but for In The Heights, so--an annotated libretto + photos and essays about the making of, in this case both the musical and the movie. It's so clear how passionate everyone involved was about this and what a meaningful experience it was--everyone quoted talks about how special it was to be with this show where they weren't "the only Latinx one" or the only POC, and to reflect their cultures without stereotype. A lot of marriages, children, and lifelong working partnerships/friendships came out of this show, and it was just really moving to read everyone talking with such huge affection for everyone else. That said: in the back of my head while reading this was the backlash about the lack of Afro-Latinx representation in the movie, which isn't addressed in the book at all (because, obviously, the book came out earlier this year and it clearly wasn't an issue that LMM or Jon Chu were thinking of). So for anyone expecting this to address colorism, it doesn't. But I think fans of the musical/movie will find a lot to like here. If you're not a fan, it's not gonna convert you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anna Smithberger

    Let’s be real, annotated books of musicals are the most on brand thing for me to love, and as someone who’s been in love with it since listening to interviews with Olga Merediz and LMM on Sirius 77 Broadway’s Best in 2008, this is the pinnacle.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Absolutely love In The Heights so can’t wait to see the film first opportunity I get😆

  10. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    I will have to revisit this. I love musicals and LMM, but I haven't seen this or heard about this, so will read / listen to this again, after I've enjoyed the wonder of it all. I will have to revisit this. I love musicals and LMM, but I haven't seen this or heard about this, so will read / listen to this again, after I've enjoyed the wonder of it all.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Ann

    An excellent companion book to both the stage and movie productions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rolando

    Bubblegum pop glowing account of a world where gentrification is an acceptable addiction, an inevitable aspect of “change;” y ya tú sa’e que Octavia Butler says “God is Change.” But this book avoids the tough questions. Like what if “In the Heights” was set in the same post apocalyptic landscape as “Parable of the Sower?” Would Usnavi change his decision and fly back to the DR instead? Surely the Zombie apocalypse would go better there. Ni que “life in New York City,” Dios mío. si Daphne Rubin V Bubblegum pop glowing account of a world where gentrification is an acceptable addiction, an inevitable aspect of “change;” y ya tú sa’e que Octavia Butler says “God is Change.” But this book avoids the tough questions. Like what if “In the Heights” was set in the same post apocalyptic landscape as “Parable of the Sower?” Would Usnavi change his decision and fly back to the DR instead? Surely the Zombie apocalypse would go better there. Ni que “life in New York City,” Dios mío. si Daphne Rubin Vega (who became famous by playing a heroin addict in RENT) writes that “there won’t be as many people who grow up the way I did ... who watch films and never see anyone who looks like them.” What a crock of bullshit that turned out to be. Mira, Lin Manuel is as representative of Latinos as Jonathan Larson is of AIDS victims (he wrote REnT, but he didn’t die of AIDS, just of a brain aneurysm /*shrug emoji*). So the book lives in that same state of dreamy illusion as the film. In a dream that cannot be awoken. An Unwoke dream if you will. Like RENT! Me encanta, Can’t get the songs off my head. Seasons of Fluff. Because of Miranda’s work, more Americans will know that Puerto Rico is an occupied territory. And then those Americans will tell me, You are American just like me. And I will say, Where’s la plena, where’s Cortaron a Elena, where’s Luis Pales Matos and Muñoz Marín doing coke in a yacht? Until I see that, no cigar. Sorry not sorry. The Caribbean is not a painting on the wall, Ok? 3 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    I've long enjoyed In the Heights and loved the film, so this book was a delight. McCarter goes through the journey of creation, from Lin-Manuel Miranda's college version to bringing it to the big screen, with the song lyrics annotated by Miranda interspersed throughout (in the order of the stage version, not the movie). There's some discussion of the changes made between the stage and screen versions. There's a LOT of talk about how the show is magical, creating families from whomever works on a I've long enjoyed In the Heights and loved the film, so this book was a delight. McCarter goes through the journey of creation, from Lin-Manuel Miranda's college version to bringing it to the big screen, with the song lyrics annotated by Miranda interspersed throughout (in the order of the stage version, not the movie). There's some discussion of the changes made between the stage and screen versions. There's a LOT of talk about how the show is magical, creating families from whomever works on a production of it. There's an unnecessarily long look at the making of the scene in the movie where Benny and Nina dance on the side of a building. There's a neat look into international productions. I loved learning more about the original version of the show (Nina had a brother, who was a main character?!). And even just reading the lyrics of the finale didn't fail to make me tear up. Not a perfect book, but one full of heart.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I loved loved loved this DREAM of a deep dive into what is arguably the best musical of all time - YEAH I SAID IT. The passion, heart, stories, and love that was poured into this project for DECADES is given right back to audiences in the most celebratory, revolutionary fashion that is actually beyond words to describe. What a gift to get to witness and share in what this musical has meant to so many amazing people, and all the beautiful ways it has changed lives and created family and gloriousl I loved loved loved this DREAM of a deep dive into what is arguably the best musical of all time - YEAH I SAID IT. The passion, heart, stories, and love that was poured into this project for DECADES is given right back to audiences in the most celebratory, revolutionary fashion that is actually beyond words to describe. What a gift to get to witness and share in what this musical has meant to so many amazing people, and all the beautiful ways it has changed lives and created family and gloriously given voice and representation to different stories within the Latinx community. I loved it on stage, on screen, and now on the page. This show represents everything musical theatre can and should be and I am more than happy to scream this from the rooftops in its honour forevermore.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    I've seen In the Heights live in London a couple of years ago and fell in love with the story and the music. It's such a great love letter from Lin-Manuel Miranda to his neighbourhood! Similar to Hamilton: The Revolution, this book features personal notes from Miranda and offers valuable insights into the making of the movie. From the first scripts to the final cut of the movie and to the impact the pandemic had on its premire, it's just such a lovely book. Full of old and new pictures, you can't I've seen In the Heights live in London a couple of years ago and fell in love with the story and the music. It's such a great love letter from Lin-Manuel Miranda to his neighbourhood! Similar to Hamilton: The Revolution, this book features personal notes from Miranda and offers valuable insights into the making of the movie. From the first scripts to the final cut of the movie and to the impact the pandemic had on its premire, it's just such a lovely book. Full of old and new pictures, you can't help but fall in love with all the details. I also adored the chapter about various global adaptations. The musical reached Norway, Israel, Japan, and many more countries, and all of them told the same story, yet they also had their own personal touches. I'm also glad that I was fortunate enough to see it live, since I was able to understand various references made to the theatre productions.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andy Myers

    It’s hard to really rate this on the merits of its literary strengths, but it set out to tell a story and it most certainly did that. My love for the musical upon which this is focused bolstered my receptiveness to the book, and—full circle—my love for the show and soundtrack is now deeper and richer knowing what a labor of blood, sweat, and tears this was. Also, I read and listened to the audiobook, which includes the voices of Lin and Quiara alongside Jeremy McCarter. Lin even sings a number of It’s hard to really rate this on the merits of its literary strengths, but it set out to tell a story and it most certainly did that. My love for the musical upon which this is focused bolstered my receptiveness to the book, and—full circle—my love for the show and soundtrack is now deeper and richer knowing what a labor of blood, sweat, and tears this was. Also, I read and listened to the audiobook, which includes the voices of Lin and Quiara alongside Jeremy McCarter. Lin even sings a number of lines, and the effect is oh-so intimate.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Since middle school, I have been the biggest fan of In the Heights. Every lyric. Every note. Every line. I love every part of it. It’s no wonder my mom and I watched it more than a half of a dozen times the first month that the movie was out. This book was a great companion to the film, and even managed to surprise me with some trivia I didn’t already know. I wish the footnotes were a little easier to navigate in the ebook version, but other than that, this in-depth chronicle of the story and it Since middle school, I have been the biggest fan of In the Heights. Every lyric. Every note. Every line. I love every part of it. It’s no wonder my mom and I watched it more than a half of a dozen times the first month that the movie was out. This book was a great companion to the film, and even managed to surprise me with some trivia I didn’t already know. I wish the footnotes were a little easier to navigate in the ebook version, but other than that, this in-depth chronicle of the story and its creative process was perfection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

    A book which was about a film which was an adaptation of a stage musical should not be able to pack this emotional punch. It should not be able to surprise me this much. It should not rend my heartstrings so. And yet... it does. And it does. And it does. This book is a wonderful collection of interviews and essays, spliced together as an oral history of both the stage and film productions, interwoven with Miranda's annotated lyrics and Hudes' poignant essays on the written narrative of the work. T A book which was about a film which was an adaptation of a stage musical should not be able to pack this emotional punch. It should not be able to surprise me this much. It should not rend my heartstrings so. And yet... it does. And it does. And it does. This book is a wonderful collection of interviews and essays, spliced together as an oral history of both the stage and film productions, interwoven with Miranda's annotated lyrics and Hudes' poignant essays on the written narrative of the work. The deep layers of context it provides builds layers upon layers atop the content of the productions and, frankly, I love having it sit right next to HamilTOME.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The libretto's annotations are revealing, and I appreciated the insight into why some of the changes were made between stage-to-film. I would've enjoyed having the entire play's script in the book, though. But I can understand why that might not have been the most doable option while trying to combine all of the behind-the-scenes stories alongside the lyrics. And speaking of the behind-the-scenes aspect, it's nice having an In the Heights equivalent of the "Hamiltome." Jeremy Carter once again de The libretto's annotations are revealing, and I appreciated the insight into why some of the changes were made between stage-to-film. I would've enjoyed having the entire play's script in the book, though. But I can understand why that might not have been the most doable option while trying to combine all of the behind-the-scenes stories alongside the lyrics. And speaking of the behind-the-scenes aspect, it's nice having an In the Heights equivalent of the "Hamiltome." Jeremy Carter once again delivers an insightful-yet-easy-to-read overview of how the musical originated and how it ended up on Broadway and, subsequently, the screen. If you're a fan of In the Heights, you already know this is a must-read for you. Though, some of this information might not be news to the most hardcore of fans.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aksa

    In the Heights is a top tier musical for me so any chance to find out more about it’s creation will be beloved to me. Special shout out to the revelation that a line in ‘when the sun goes down’ was inspired by the moment in His Dark materials that always makes me cry - my tears everytime suddenly make sense

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arielle Marie

    I’ve been in love with “In the Heights” for awhile now, so I bought this book to learn more about the history and creation of the musical. It did not disappoint. I feel like I have so much more respect and admiration for the musical and the movie, and Lin’s annotations were insightful and cute. It’s not a long read, so if you like the Broadway show and/or the movie, you should check it out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Coates

    This one is set up the same way as the Hamilton book--it gives the backstory of the musical's inception and journey, interviews actors, directors, and others involved in bringing the story to life, and describes the process of adapting the musical to a film. But the real treat are the annotations by Lin-Manuel Miranda of the songs where he describes his thought process, the allusions, and the changes from version to version. This one is set up the same way as the Hamilton book--it gives the backstory of the musical's inception and journey, interviews actors, directors, and others involved in bringing the story to life, and describes the process of adapting the musical to a film. But the real treat are the annotations by Lin-Manuel Miranda of the songs where he describes his thought process, the allusions, and the changes from version to version.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This nonfiction book follows the development of "In the Heights" from original idea in Lin-Manuel Miranda to Broadway hit to Jon Chu directed film. Jeremy McCarter captures the evolution of the story of this New York community in a series of essays and Miranda annotates his lyrics. Unfortunately, the book written by Quiara Alegria Hudes isn't included in this publication although she has written several essays. This book is a must for die-hard fans. This nonfiction book follows the development of "In the Heights" from original idea in Lin-Manuel Miranda to Broadway hit to Jon Chu directed film. Jeremy McCarter captures the evolution of the story of this New York community in a series of essays and Miranda annotates his lyrics. Unfortunately, the book written by Quiara Alegria Hudes isn't included in this publication although she has written several essays. This book is a must for die-hard fans.

  24. 5 out of 5

    D.J.

    A touching and insightful look at the origins and journey of IN THE HEIGHTS, including the new movie adaptation. As someone who has only recently fallen in love with the show via the film, this book offers an incredible amount of facts, stories, and memories.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa Bush

    AHHHHHHHHHHH I NEED THIS!!!!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    A wonderful book about a musical that deserves celebrating. What would we do without Lin-Manuel Miranda?!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Léa

    I love this musical so much! And it was so great to read its history. If you're a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's work, this is a great read for you! I love this musical so much! And it was so great to read its history. If you're a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's work, this is a great read for you!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peoria Public Library

    Beth rated it 4/5 stars Very fun, colorful, in-depth look into the show and movie. Probably better as a coffee table book read over time :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    When you love it, you love it. I loved it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn LeConey

    I love this show so much. Heights was my intro to LMM, as it was for most folx. This book is gorgeous.

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