Lin-Manuel Miranda showed off a 21-year-old In The Heights poster which was created by his old college roommate, Alex Horwitz, ahead of the show's 2008 Broadway debut. Miranda penned the musical during his sophomore year as a student at Connecticut's Wesleyan University and is celebrating the theatrical and HBO Max release of the film version of the musical, which tells the unique stories of the residents of New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, and shares their heritage, goals, and aspirations.
Miranda's love for musical theater came at the behest of his own parents Luis and Luz who owned hundreds of Broadway-related albums, filling the young man's ears with this style of music from a young age. The tunes from Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown filled the family home. This early inspiration gave rise to a love of performing throughout high school and college. Miranda took two his last two years at Wesleyan to finish his script and music for In The Heights. One week after graduation, he would show the finished product to fellow Wesleyan alum and composer Thomas Kail. Six years later, the show would win Broadway's highest honor, a Tony Award.
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In a Twitter upload, Miranda shared the original poster for In The Heights. A tearful Miranda and Horwitz stood together, arms wrapped around one another in a show of affection, as they held the sketch for the camera. In the caption of the image, Miranda expressed his gratitude for the surprising and thoughtful gesture. Check out the photo below:
This gift is as significant as the longtime bond between the men. Miranda has said he wrote In The Heights because he did not see a way for himself as a Latino to become a part of the musical theater community. He said he didn't see stories of Latinx being told, so he wrote what he felt was missing in the industry. This drawing depicted the core elements of the musical, a world Miranda created, which at its core, spoke directly of friendship, family, and the importance of a connection to one's heritage. As a standalone piece, the artwork captures the essence of what In The Heights would come to represent about the people and stories of the area highlighted in both the Broadway and movie musical. Horwitz's hand-drawn poster depicted a New York City subway car, with several linked apartment complexes built within its interior, including multi-level fire escapes.
For Miranda fans, it was heartwarming to witness his emotional reaction to the thoughtful gift. Miranda and Horwitz have retained the friendship formed during their college days before fame and fortune altered the trajectory of their lives. In The Heights was just an idea for what could be when Horwitz put pen to paper. The final detailed sketch highlighted Miranda's dreams for his future and cemented the potential others saw in him as well.
Source: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Key Release Dates
- In the Heights (2021)Release date: Jun 11, 2021