“In The Heights” Trailer Released

Nora Toscano, Reporter

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The trailer of “In The Heights” made its debut on December 12.  “In The Heights” was first a musical on Broadway, which started showing in 2008.  The four-time-Tony-winning and single-Grammy-winning Broadway phenomenon revolves around three days in the lives of a tight-knit group of mostly Hispanic neighbors living on a block in Washington Heights, NY.  The film will hit theaters June 26, 2020.

The musical was converted into a screenplay that took the same name, which was directed by Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians.”  The movie tells the story of a barrio, or neighborhood, and the closely intertwined lives and dreams of the people in it.  

Anthony Ramos portrays Usnavi de la Vega, the protagonist and owner of a small bodega, who dreams to return to his home country, the Dominican Republic, but lacks the money to do so.  His love interest, Vanessa, played by Melisa Barrera, dreams of leaving the barrio and moving uptown.  

Leslie Grace plays Nina, the first in the neighborhood to go to college, who wishes she had a way to tell her parents she had to drop out of Stanford because she had to work two jobs to be able to pay tuition. Usnavi’s friend, Benny, portrayed by Corey Hawkins, works for Nina’s father and dreams of starting his own business. 

Sonny de la Vega, Usnavi’s jokester younger cousin, longs for change in the barrio and is played by Gregory Diaz IV. Olga Merediz returned to her Broadway role as “Abuela” Claudia, the loving elderly woman whom the characters all consider their “abuela,” or grandma. Daphne Rubin-Vega and Stephanie Beatriz star as Daniela and Carla, respectively, two gossip-loving women who work at Daniela’s salon.  

The rest of the cast consists of Jimmy Smits as Kevin Rosario, Nina’s father and the owner of a cab company, Noah Catala as Graffiti Pete, a local graffiti artist, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the hit musical and originally starred as Usnavi, as Mr. Piragüero, the owner of a piragua stand who hopes to be able to compete with Mister Softee during the hot summer days. Dascha Polanco plays Cuca and Marc Anthony plays Mr. de la Vega, two characters that weren’t in the original play.  

The trailer is available to watch on Youtube, and it gives a preview to a fun, vibrant movie with upbeat music that also tells a heartfelt story.