One of my favorite recent musicals is In the Heights, which won 4 Tony’s, including one for best musical. It’s set in the predominantly Latino Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, and its soundtrack combines Latin music (cumbia, salsa, reggaeton, bachata, etc) with hip-hop. The lyrics are also mixed, incorporating Spanglish, English, and Spanish seamlessly. Latinos (and, uh, the people who love them? ) pop out throughout show — they’re performers, musicians, lyricists, etc.. Want to see scenes? Check out this NYT featurette, and the show’s website for clips. The Wiki provides a pretty detailed synopsis of the show — the only thing I’d add is that one of the show’s major themes is gentrification, and while Latino/black relations are central, there’s a constant reflection on the mechanisms of power and the role racism plays in structuring one’s experience and access to the American dream.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 The other thing I loooooooooove about this cast is that they parody Rihanna. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
I’m still mad about VH1 not including any Latin@s in its American history thinger. Uhhh. In the Heights won FOUR TONY AWARDS. >_<