I'll admit that I'm a little bit of a Broadway snob; I don't prefer to watch Broadway musicals off Broadway, especially not with a traveling cast. But I made an exception this one time for a few reasons: a-1) it's kind of hard for me to get up to NYC as often as I'd like, a-2) let alone make time for a Broadway musical while I'm up there!; b-1) I really wanted to see In the Heights, b-2) but didn't know any details on what it is about or anything (meaning, could it really hurt me NOT to see it on Broadway? Probably not!); c) the timing worked out; and d) I really wanted to see it!
So... why did I want to see it? It's a bit trivial-sounding, but the guy who wrote/composed and originally starred in it is Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Hunter alumn! He actually graduated a few years ahead of me, and I don't know that I remember him from my time in Hunter (though apparently he starred/was in most of the theater productions during those years), but I love hearing about successful HCHS alumni. Anyway, I'm really, really glad I got to see it in Baltimore. It reminded me of just how much I love going to see musicals, and I was unbelievably impressed with everything about In the Heights. The spoken word/rap by the main character, the colorful characters who represented real people so well, the way the storyline and characters were so seamlessly introduced and built upon, the elements of humor injected throughout, the gorgeous set... Everything! There was one thing that could make it better -- I really, really want to see it performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Haha, yeah, I know unlikely -- at least live. Fortunately a movie version is in the works with Lin-Manuel Miranda reprising his role as Usnavi, so perhaps one day I'll get my wish, kind of. :)
Now onto the movie. I'm not really sure why, but for whatever reason watching In the Heights got me thinking about the creative process behind composing/performing/writing. And somehow that lead me to think about a surprise movie I watched on TV in the past few months that I really, really enjoyed (and the more I think about it, the better I like it!): August Rush. I'm not sure why I didn't notice this movie existed when it was in theaters, but at some point randomly, I happened upon it on cable TV and watched it. In any case, the characters were so varied and fantastic (Keri Russell as the naive, young classical cellist completely controlled by her father; that guy who looks like Ewan McGregor as a wild, carefree rock musician; the kid who played Charlie in the Chocolate Factory movie as a poor orphan with incredible musical talents; Robin Williams as a crazed man who exploits homeless kids' talents for profit), the music drove the movie and it was fantastic, there was a couple and a family for me to root for (since I'm such a shipper), and there was a happy ending. My kind of movie! In any case, there was really no reason for this movie to pop into my head so randomly, but it did today, and now I really, really want to watch it again! Have I mentioned that I *really* like this movie? :)