In the Heights | 11.10-22.09

theat_heights.gifThe location is specific but the stories are universal.







The national tour of the award-winning musical In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda (music and lyrics), Quiara Alegría Hughes (book) and Andy Blankenbuehler (choreography) will be at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis November 10-22, 2009.

In the Heights, which Matt Wolf of The Observer terms "a salsa-inflected Cherry Orchard," is set in the close-knit Latino community of Washington Heights in New York City. The location is specific but the stories are universal, as the characters people struggle to find their place in the world while striking a balance between honoring the customs of their native countries and adapting to the new demands of life in America.

Usnavi’s (his parents named him after the words "U.S. Navy," which they saw on the side of a ship) bodega is the nerve center of the neighborhood while his surrogate grandmother Abuela Claudia is the neighborhood matriarch. Nina is the local girl made good—everyone’s proud of the fact that she attends Stanford University, while she is conflicted over the sacrifices her parents are making to keep her there. Benny works for the gypsy cab company owned by Nina’s parents and harbors a secret (and forbidden) crush on her. Meanwhile, Daniela’s hair salon is gossip central for the ladies of the neighborhood and everyone is struggling with the ever-increasing gentrification of their neighborhood.

Miranda , who grew up just north of Washington Heights, describes himself as a "Broadway baby" who grew up listening to cast albums and attended his first musical (Les Mis) in second grade. He consciously structured In the Heights after another musical about people struggling to reconcile their traditions with a changing world: Fiddler on the Roof.  He sees the central figure of bodega owner Usnavi (played by Mr. Miranda in the Broadway production) as analogous to Tevye in Fiddler, both of whom double as narrator of the show as well as a character within the story. And he modeled the opening number "In the Heights," which builds up a picture of the entire community beginning with a single voice, closely on Fiddler’s opening number "Tradition."

In the Heights won four Tony Awards in 2008: Best Musical (Miranda), Best Music and Lyrics (Miranda), Best Choreography (Blankenbuehler), and Best Orchestrations (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman). It also won the 2009 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album and was featured in a Great Performances PBS special ("In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams") in May 2009. You can preview videos of the show at

In the Heights will play the Fox Theatre November 10-22, with performances Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday November 15 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and Wednesday, November 19 at 1 p.m.  Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre Box Office, MetroTix outlets or from or 314-534-1111. Group orders of 20 or more may be placed by calling 314-525-2900. | Sarah Boslaugh

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