REVIEW: ‘In the Heights’ Celebrates The Promise Of America

REVIEW: ‘In the Heights’ Celebrates The Promise Of America


Though he often pays lip service to left-wing politics, Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t help himself — he believes in the promise of America. And his infectious love for the American Dream that came through loud and clear in “Hamilton” — the story of a flawed founder and a flawed nation fighting to live up to their high ideals — is equally evident in his latest musical, “In the Heights” (rated PG-13 for a smattering of language).

The story opens on Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), a Dominican immigrant whose name comes from his father’s first sight of the promised land — a U.S. Navy ship. Proprietor of a raggedy bodega, Usnavi is one of several small business heroes in his neighborhood of Washington Heights. The others include the piragua man (Miranda) who valiantly pushes his cart of shaved ice every day, pounding the pavement in a relentless battle with faceless corporatism in the form of the Mister Softee truck. Then

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