A Last Look at "In the Heights"

When I first moved to New York about three years ago, I arrived in the dark of night. The Astoria one-bedroom I had seen for about 10 minutes a few months earlier, when I visited the city to apartment hunt, looked different than my memory of it: smaller, colder, more foreign.

The next morning, however, Astoria welcomed me with the smell of coffee and cookies drifting from a nearby Greek bakery. The church across the street signaled the hour with low, melodious bells. And the sun shone brightly on 30th Avenue, a place that would soon feel like home.

New York City is indeed a jammed metropolis, where anonymity reigns. It is also a patchwork of intimate communities. Broadway's In the Heights depicts the sights, sounds and characters of Washington Heights, a predominantly Latino neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, combines the familiarity that defines any place you call home with the familiarity of stock musical theater characters and devices. The show is at once surprising and comforting.

Now, like the In the Heights characters, who are in the midst of a sea change as a generation grows older and grows up, the show itself is moving on. It will close on January 9, 2011 (though it will continue in other forms, including the national tour and a forthcoming film). If you’ll be in NYC between now and then, see the show. It won’t disappoint. And if you catch any of the performances from Christmas day on, you’ll see Miranda playing Usnavi, the role he originated and for which he earned a 2008 Tony Award nomination.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search