Watching Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Genius Bring ‘In The Heights’ To Broadway Is So Inspiring
Last week, PBS released an amazing documentary about the making of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning masterpiece “In The Heights.” The documentary catalogs behind-the-scenes moments never before seen by the public. Viewers will get a sneak peek into all aspects of the show. The documentary shows the pre-production process, rehearsals and follows all the way through to the cast lifting Miranda up at the Tony Awards, with his trophy raised to the sky. We get to see the actors meeting each other for the first time, introducing themselves and their characters to great applause from one another.
Interviews featured throughout help shed light on different aspects of the show, like how characters were fine-tuned in rehearsal. In one interview, director Thomas Kail says, “rehearsal is about crafting something, it’s about trying to realize things that have existed in your mind for weeks and months and years.” Kail went on to add “I like to try to find things in the room, but I find things in the room because I was there when the characters were created, because I had something to do with the formation of their DNA.” You can tell that although this was Miranda’s brainchild, that the undertaking of putting on a huge production was the responsibility of many people.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was just a college student when the first inklings of his show started to come to him.
After seeing the popular play “Rent,” Miranda said to himself, “Oh you can write a musical about you. About your life.”
Some powerful moments involve seeing young Miranda, with a short awkward haircut, working hard before all the fame.
At one point, we hear Miranda talking about the agony and joy of writing a song as we see him bang out notes on a piano. There’s a full pot of coffee placed drinking distance from his face. You get the feeling he drank a lot of it.
The heart of the entire show, Miranda says, is the song “When You’re Home.”
In interviews intercut with the performance of the song, Miranda says that the song is an attempt to answers the question: “What does it mean to be Puerto Rican, if you don’t live in Puerto Rico?”
You can see the full hour-long documentary here on PBS’ website.