“In the Heights” was the big winner at the 2008 Tony Awards and marks a big change in the Great White Way. “In the Heights” is an affectionate portrait of the Hispanic community in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, showcasing hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. Usnavi courts Vanessa, and dreams of opening a bar back home in the Dominican Republic. Nina is in love with Benny, but her father is against their union because he wants Nina to complete her education at Stanford University, and is prepared to sell his business to finance her. In the meantime, their friend Abuela wins $96,000 in a numbers game.
This marks on of the first times that the fusion of Hip-Hop and Latin music was awarded the top prize at the Tony Awards. Things are a changing on the Great White way and it’s only going to get better for theater goers. “In the Heights” now has to show that it has staying power.
But now will the Tony be a gift or a curse? Can this small production survive as big mega shows move in to town in the Fall? Shrek: the musical is set to open in a few months and will surely be a big ticket draw.
And will “In The Heights” have to tap on popular artist to come into the show once the Tony Awards hype dies down?