Review: In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Album

I know, I know, I'm way late to the game. But I finally bought the In the Heights Broadway Cast Recording last Friday and I am absolutely obsessed. (How could I not be? It's Lin Manuel Miranda.)


For those who don't know, In the Heights was Lin Manuel Miranda's first show and opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater in 2008. The story follows the lives of a cast of mostly Dominican-Americans over the course of three days. It was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical. Lin not only wrote the show, but stared in it as Usnavi.

The show covers a variety of plot lines from Usnavi's attempt to woo the beautiful Vanessa, Benny's fledging relationship with Nina, Usnavi's decision to leave New York for the Dominican Republic or stay, and Nina's sense of failure at losing her college scholarship.

The show is highly influenced by Latin music and the neighborhood in which Lin himself grew up, Washington Heights. It's a beautiful portrayal of a group of immigrants that has me longing for New York City as I write this.


Some of my favorite numbers include the title song, "In the Heights"; Nina's heartbreaking "Breathe"; the highly danceable "The Club"; Nina and Benny's lovely duet "Sunrise"; and Camila's sassy "Enough." I still can't listen to Nina's song, "Everything I Know," without crying because somehow Lin perfectly captured the feelings I had cleaning out my grandmother's house this past summer. In short, it's another masterpiece written by Lin Manuel Miranda.

Fans of Hamilton who haven't experienced In the Heights before will also appreciate that Benny is played by Chris Jackson, who you might recognize as George Washington. 

I think that anyone who is a fan of Miranda's work, likes a blend of musical theatre and Latin music, or is an immigrant themselves will appreciate this beautiful album. 

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