Miranda, who won the Tony for the musical's songs, also conceived the romantic tale of friends, lovers and neighbors of the tight-knit Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights, in northern Manhattan, where the George Washington Bridge gleams in the background as a central metaphor for migration, change, escape and promise.
Ensemble member Javier Muñoz, an understudy and longtime cast member from the show's developmental stages, steps into the spotlight as Usnavi, the charming Domincan bodega owner who guides the audience into the show, on Feb. 16.
Among Miranda's many recent, current or planned projects are contributions to a new version of the musical Working, Spanish lyrics to the new Broadway revival of West Side Story and a film version of In the Heights.
Observers in the Broadway theatre community were not surprised that Miranda, a virtual unknown in the legit world, was nominated as Best Actor in a Musical for In the Heights in 2008. Usnavi is the musical's narrator and conscience, and Miranda's rapid-fire rap delivery, puppy-dog charm and kinetic moves made his work stand out in the 2007-08 season.
The Latino-flavored musical had been his brainchild since college, and he often refers to the work as a literal dream come true. *
Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman, the lead producers of the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights, announced on Jan. 8 that they recouped the show's $10 million investment after only 10 months and 337 performances. The pop tale of the changing face of a Manhattan Latino community, Washington Heights, opened on Broadway March 9, 2008, after a 2007 developmental production Off-Broadway. Performances continue at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street.
In the Heights has a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It won four 2008 Tony Awards (Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations), and snagged a 2008 Grammy Award nomination for the original cast album.
In November 2008, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to produce a feature film based on In the Heights.
In the Heights is produced by Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Jill Furman, Sander Jacobs, Robyn Goodman/Walt Grossman, Peter Fine and Sonny Everett/Mike Skipper with associate producers Ruth Hendel and Harold Newman.
In the Heights stars Andréa Burns, Janet Dacal, Robin De Jesús, Mandy Gonzalez, Marcy Harriell, Christopher Jackson, Priscilla Lopez, Olga Merediz, Miranda, Rick Négron, and Seth Stewart leading a cast of 28 that features Tony Chiroldes, Rosie Lani Fiedelman, Afra Hines, Marcus Paul James, Nina Lafarga, Doreen Montalvo, Javier Muñoz, Krysta Rodriguez, Eliseo Román, Luis Salgado, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Rickey Tripp, Michael Balderrama, Joshua Henry, Stephanie Klemons, Jon Rua and Elisa Santora.
For tickets and more information visit www.ticketmaster.com or intheheightsthemusical.com.