Musical Review: In the Heights

Details: Won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. Opened on Broadway in 2008. You can find the playbill at

In the Heights is the musical that first brought Lin Manuel Miranda to fame. It’s an entertaining show, though personally, not my cup of tea. You can see Lin Manuel’s fingerprints all over the show, but it’s no Hamilton.

In the Heights takes place in Washington Heights, north of the Upper West side in Manhattan, New York City. The show follows a cast of mostly Latino characters as they struggle through financial, romantic, professional, and academic struggles.

I think my main problem with In the Heights has nothing to do with the caliber of the show itself, I just don’t love Latin music of which this show is almost entirely influenced. It’s too eclectic. It has too many things going on and it’s kind of a job just to keep up with. The melodies are also hard for me to sing along to. I prefer more traditional Broadway style melodies.

Which is a shame because even though I didn’t love the show, I can see why a lot of people would. If you’re Latino or grew up in Washington Heights, then I can see how this show would be especially relevant and entertaining to you. Again, this was not the case for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. I just didn’t love it. I didn’t love the music and it didn’t really leave an impression on me at the time I saw the show. Also keep in mind that I’m not reviewing this show in 2008. I’m reviewing it now, after seeing shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton. Compared to shows like that, it’s especially hard to heap praise onto In the Heights.

Score: 6.8/10

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