Entertainment

The Trailer For ‘In The Heights’ Is Finally Here And It Looks Like A Latino Fairytale

In the final weeks at the end of a decade that began with promises of a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway musical, “In The Heights.” Well, the full trailer is finally here and it’s more rico than we could have imagined. Fans have been waiting for the movie since 2008 when Universal Pictures announced their plans to adapt the musical for theaters by 2011. Universal canceled the project. Big mistake. Huge. Then, The Weinstein Company gained rights to the film. After Harvey Weinstein was canceled due to heinous sexual misconduct, Lin-Manuel Miranda removed Weinstein from the credits in 2017. Finally, Warner Bros won the rights to the movie in 2018 and finally, finally, a decade later, the trailer is here, and it’s delicious. It’s no accident that the trailer begins with the voice of a young girl asking, “What does suenito mean?” Each frame and verse will inflate your heart with the immense weight of hope that our immigrant parents and many of us carry to this day in America. Anthony Ramos answers la niña’s question: “Suenito? It means “little dream.” 

“That’s it? No story?” another little boy asks Ramos’ character, Usnavi de la Vega. 

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“Alright, alright everybody sit down,” Usnavi tells the children on what seems like the beaches of the Dominican Republic. “It’s a story of a block that was disappearing,” he tells the children, “En un barrio called Washington Heights. The streets were made of music.” 

As the music begins to play, the trailer swells to fast cuts, showing countless scenes and characters.

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We see Usnavi, named after the first thing his Dominican parents saw as they arrived in America – a ship with the sign US Navy open up his bodega and lock eyes with beautiful Vanessa, played by Starz’s Vida, Melissa Barrera. “These blocks, you can’t walk two steps without walking into someone’s big plan,” Corey Hawkins, who plays Benny, says. The trailer promises to be a story of a neighborhood full of dreams. “A dream isn’t a sparkly diamond. There’s no shortcuts. Sometimes, it’s rough,” Ramos tells the children.

Olga Merediz powerfully reprises her role of Abuela Claudia.

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“We have to assert our dignity in small ways. Little details that tell the world we are not invisible,” Claudia softly touches a traditionally embroidered tea towel as she confides in another woman. If you’ve had the privilege of watching the musical, you know how Claudia’s story goes. For the rest of you, we won’t spoil it. Rest assured that the massive production of the film does Abuela Claudia justice, as we see velas lighting the streets as neighbors raise their hands and march in her honor.

Miranda’s America in the early 2000s is far different from 2019 America, and it seems that Abuela Claudia may face a different fate in the film adaptation.

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“They’re talking about kicking out all the dreamers. It’s time to make some noise,” Gregory Diaz, who plays Usnavi’s cousin, Sonny de la Vega, calls his neighborhood to action. “This is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. The odds are against you,” we hear a lawyer tell Usnavi and Sonny. “But there’s a chance right?” Usnavi asks. From there, the trailer erupts into dance and song as we hear Ramos rap, “We came to work and to live here. We got a lot in common. DR, PR, we are not stopping until the day we go from poverty to stock options.” Intermingled we hear Merediz belt, “Every day, paciencia y fe” Usnavi and Vanessa dance in a club, a group of dancers perform in a classic Washington Heights fountain at the heat of summer, and the trailer’s final words: “Today’s all we got so we cannot stop, this is our block!” 

Fans are actually weeping at the release of the long-awaited trailer.

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NPR Latino’s head journalist Maria Hinojosa tweeted, “I AM WATCHING ON REPEAT stuck on my plane and I can’t stop CRYING ????❤️✊????!!!!” Another fan asks, “Why am I crying at a trailer??” while another says, “I might be full on bawling right now I can’t wait for this.” “Hydrants are open!!!!” tweets another knowing Washington Heights resident. This daughter of a Nuyorican is right there with y’all. 

“In the Heights” comes to theaters on June 26, 2020.

You’ll have to hold onto more paciencia y fe as we count the days until we can sneak mofongo and arroz con gandules into the theaters and watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s student project come to life on the big screen. When Miranda makes it, we all make it.

READ: We Finally Got A Peek At Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Casting Picks For ‘In The Heights’ The Play That Made Him Famous

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

Entertainment

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

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Update July 7, 2020, 4:00 p.m. PST: People are going after “Hamilton” because of its depiction of Alexander Hamilton, who was a slave owner. In a time when Confederate monuments are falling, some people want to cancel the show because it does elevate the people of the time. Lin-Manuel Miranda does not disagree with them

Lin-Manuel Miranda validated the criticism lodged against “Hamilton.”

There was a lot of criticism recently lodged at the musical. The renewed attention is partly because Disney+is streaming the very successful play during the 4th of July weekend. While Miranda has said the criticisms are valid, he did express the difficulty of creating a play and capturing every moment of the Founding Fathers in one play. There is no arguing that the Founding Fathers were not indeed problematic and owned slaves.

During this time, it is important to have tough conversations about the legacy of this country and what we can do to acknowledge and rectify the issues.

“Hamilton” is an exquisite work of art. The casting sets it apart from other plays that do not try to be as inclusive. Yet, it is very important to remember our history. Some of the people we are taught to celebrate and hold in high esteem are not worthy of that praise. Some are responsible for killing off large amount of native people. Others were involved with the brutal slave trade that created one of the largest diasporas in human history. You can honor the work of a Latino creator and acknowledge the flaws even he admits to.

Original: Families across the nation celebrated their 4th of July weekend watching “Hamilton.” The musical is one of the most celebrated musicals in recent history. Yet, some people have a problem with the musical and its debut on Disney+ has angered some Twitter users.

“Hamilton” is currently streaming on Disney+ and fans are so excited.

The very popular musical is a Broadway sensation. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play is one of the most celebrated shows in recent history with sold-out shows across the country. The play tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The play has been celebrated because the actors cast in the production are all actors of color. It took a white story and was filled with people of color showing a side of Hamilton people don’t often address. Miranda admitted that he didn’t know much about Hamilton until reading a biography about the man while on vacation. He felt the story of Hamilton is inherently an immigrant story and deserved to be told with a twist.

#CancelHamilton started trending over the weekend and a quick search shows that most of the tweets are from conservatives.

There is a movement happening right now in the U.S. with people tearing down statues honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. The Confederacy is the side of the Civil War fighting to preserve slavery and lost the war. The hashtag is filled with people complaining that other Confederate monuments are being torn down, so why not cancel “Hamilton.”

One argument being made against canceling “Hamilton” is that it is fiction. Those for the cancellation of “Hamilton” claim that is should be torn down like Confederate statues. Yet, those against the cancellation claim that the show is a fictitious account and not the same as monuments and statues built to celebrate a legacy steeped in slave ownership.

Some of the people defending the show are pointing to the cast of filled with people of color.

The show made history with its diverse cast offering a glimpse into history through the voices of people of color. This kind of representation gave young people of color a chance to see themselves represented in history. It might only be a play but it is a play that has captivated an audience of Black and brown people who can see people who look like them representing U.S. history.

It has reignited the debate about cancel culture being weaponized and weakened by bad actors.

The cancel culture has come after several celebrities and businesses calling out bad practices. It seems though that every week there is a new attempt to cancel someone or something. Cancel culture has come under fire for cutting people before giving them a chance to learn from their mistakes.

Some people want to cancel cancel culture instead of “Hamilton” and that thought is spreading.

Cancel culture has claimed a lot of people. It started to grow in prominence as social media became more and more popular and far-reaching. What do you think about Cancel Culture?

READ: ‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

Things That Matter

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

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Primary elections in New York this week ushered in new politicians poised to make history. One of those people is Ritchie Torres, an out Afro-Latino gay man who won his primary for New York’s 15th District.

Ritchie Torres won his primary challenge for the 15th congressional district of New York.

New York City Council Member Torres defeated Rúben Diaz Sr. last night. People are celebrating the victory because Torres, who is openly gay, was running against a very problematic reverend. Diaz, who is also a New York City council member, has billed himself as the opposite of AOC and holds a very conservative view on various social issues.

Diaz has voted against same-sex marriage and routinely speaks out against abortion. One time, according to CBS News, Diaz claimed that the city council was being run by the “homosexual community.”

The fight is not over for Torres.

The council member still has to make it through the November election. He will be running against Republican Orlando Molina in November. However, people are celebrating the historic vote that could put the first-ever openly gay Afro-Latino person into Congress.

New York’s 15th District is called the bluest district in America. That is why someone who supports Trump, opposes abortion, and has a homophobic past leading the field was so shocking to many. The Pentecostal minister made headlines when he refused to resign from the city council after his comments about the “homosexual community.”

Praise and support for Torres came flooding in on social media from fellow Democrats across the country.

Torres’s victory over Diaz is a welcomes outcome for many in the Democratic party. Some feared what Diaz would do to the party when in office considering the clear opposition to Democratic causes, especially considering the hyper-partisan nature of the current Congress.

It was a truly historic night in politics thanks to the people running and the voters.

There were several seats last night that have started to better reflect communities in the district. African-American and Latino candidates won decisively in various districts leading to what could be a more diverse and progressive Congress.

Congratulations to all of the winners during yesterday’s primaries.

READ: AOC Wins Primary Election In New York In Run For A Second Term In Congress