Rousuck's Review: Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights," From Broadway To The Big Screen
It's time for another visit from Midday's theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom on Skype today with her movie hat on: she spotlights the new film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In the Heights.
The film musical retains most of the Broadway version's high-spirited songs and signature lyrics, and like the original, it captures the energies and pressures of everyday life in the mainly Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) from a screenplay by the Broadway book writer Quiara Alegría Hudes, the film version moves playwright-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda from his Broadway lead to a secondary role. Actor Anthony Ramos ("A Star is Born, and Broadway's "Hamilton") takes that lead as bodega owner Usnavi, who works hard, saves every penny and dreams (and sings) of a better life. Ramos is joined by a large, talented cast, including Melissa Barrera (TV's "Vida"), Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton,” “BlacKkKlansman”) and Jimmy Smits (TV's "NPYD Blue" and the “Star Wars” films).