Words by Jessica Freites
If you’re anything like us, then over the last few years you may have found yourself basking in a concrete-lined Caribbean paradise where bodegas adorned in fresh graffiti and piraguero chants could make any campesino feel like the remnants of el capital lie somewhere along 135th Street. Located in New York’s uptown area, the culturally rich infusion of Dominicano culture that is the Washington Heights section of Manhattan has a slew of worldly stories to tell–all within a 30 block span. As told through the highly personal experiences and worldview of Nuyorican playwright/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights has illuminated this enclave to audiences across the spectrum, bridging the gap between the Caribbean islands and Manhattan island. Also please note, the on/off Broadway musical was the winner of four Tony Awards and a slew of other accolades. Needless to say, el senor Miranda is a busy man with a busy brain that continues to spray creativity in all directions. With its Broadway run having come to a close earlier this month, LARGE UP caught the creator in a rare moment of downtime and jumped on the opportunity to discuss the far-reaching success of In the Heights with Lin-Manuel…as well as what’s next for the young playwright with a future that’s broader than Broadway.