Musical change and meanings explained
In the heights, Usnavi tells the story to a group of children. Here’s why this concept was added to the movie and how it altered some of its meaning.
Why Usnavi tells the story of In the heights and how that changes the musical. The film adaptation of In the heights It’s been years in the works, but it finally arrived on HBO Max and in theaters on June 10. As with any musical that changes medium, the film – which was directed by Jon M. Chu from a script and musical score by Quiara AlegrÃa Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda, respectively, cut parts from the original story and added others, including Usnavi de la Vega’s narration.
Set over a few days in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the musical tells the story of Usnavi, Vanessa, Benny and Nina Rosario. With the threat of impending gentrification and three businesses – Usnavi’s bodega, Nina’s father’s car service, and a local hair and nail salon – disappearing, Usnavi dreamed of returning to the Dominican Republic to rebuild. and reopen the old business of his late father. Usnavi’s narration provides an audience opening for the film that did not exist for the Broadway version of the musical.
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With a bar and beach as a backdrop, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) telling the story of Washington Heights to a group of kids allows audiences to believe he’s finally returned to the Dominican Republic as he claims to have since. start. While in the musical, Usnavi just begins singing the opening number, “In the Heights,” to begin the story and introduce the characters, the film’s change provides a glimpse into Usnavi’s future after the main events of In the heights. He’s spent so much time talking about hindsight that when the film draws his attention to Usnavi’s narration, it sets up a unique framing device that hints at the character’s fate. The filmmakers also needed something to keep the story grounded and the storytelling does just that before diving into the songs. It is a little more difficult to found a musical film than to do it on stage and children in this case work effectively as audience substitutes.
The change is also made to establish Usnavi’s final decision – that his inheritance, which now includes his daughter, and his house is where he does it. He has already planted his roots in Washington Heights despite having to leave the Dominican Republic as a child. The revelation that he still owns the bodega at the end is a nice surprise to the public and a nice confirmation that Usnavi continues to be a central part of the neighborhood. The fact that it tells the story of the various people who made Washington Heights their home to the next generation is a testament to the idea of ââperpetuating each other’s memories in storytelling so that the history of Washington Heights never even dies. if things change.
Usnavi’s storytelling isn’t the only change to In the heights’ film adaptation, but it’s the one that works the best because of the way it’s put together. It’s a story within a story and it certainly adds a lot of layers to the musical and the character, the future and the legacy of Usnavi. This makes it possible to found the film and to add a surprising and anticipatory element to In the heights it gave it an extra boost and spark for the story.
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